PHILIPSBURG:--- part of the VNG International (International Co-operation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities) disaster recovery program, two workshops for Emergency Support Function (ESF) 3 and 10 took place on March 19 and 20. ESF 3 is in charge of public works, transport and logistics (VROMI). ESF 10 is in charge of Harbour, Airport and Hotel activities (TEATT) during disasters and crises. From the Netherlands, VNG International experts Mattijs Dam and Robert Verhoeven were present to assist with the workshop and training of ESF 3 and 10.
The aim of the workshops was to discuss the disaster relief system and the concept of crisis management. While there is a lot of documentation available, participants stressed that a short manual and task charts that outline the essential crisis management steps are needed to ensure rapid activation of the ESF group once a disaster strikes.
The workshop with key players of ESF3 was used to discuss the disaster relief system related to the responsibilities and processes of ESF3. ESF3 participants are already called upon frequently to assist emergency services with handling incidents. The workshop resulted in more understanding of the crisis management concept and awareness on the need for good coordination and communication. The input during the workshop will be used to update the ESF3 sub plan and align with the sub plans of other ESF groups.
The workshop with key players of ESF10 was used to train basic crisis management steps in order to improve skills and a way of thinking on a more tactical level. Different types of scenarios (other than hurricane) were used to discuss responsibilities and coordination of ESF10, and also assess the possible impact on contingency.
Follow-up is scheduled to take place on June 25th, when all ESF groups will for the first time participate in the large-scale annual HUREX hurricane exercise.