Delivering Exercise Elmet for the Environment Agency

What is Exercise Elmet?

During the last week of January we took part in the delivery of Exercise Elmet for the Environment Agency (EA). This was a 3-day exercise in which the EA duty staff undertook a real-time simulated scenario to test their capabilities, help to train new staff and to prepare them for the increasing difficulty and frequency of flood events. It provided important and timely practice of flood response procedures just two weeks ahead of Storm Ciara that has brought extensive flooding to many parts of the UK.

Exercise Elmet took place across two sites: in Leeds (1 of 7 EA flood forecasting centres) and in York. It was based on conditions from a combination of flood events taken from the 2013 coastal floods and the 2007 fluvial floods.

Why is this important?

Exercise Elmet created the opportunity for the EA to implement and test their new team structure, which involves having two Flood Warning Duty Officers and one assistant on duty. The exercise took place in the Area Incident Room (AIR), which allowed the duty officers to practice and become comfortable in an environment they would use during a real event. The EA teams also took part in group handovers to relay information to the oncoming duty staff.

How were we involved?

We designed and delivered this exercise as part of the JBA4Resilience consortium.  JBA4Resilience is a partnership between JBA Consulting, Training 4 Resilience, Crown Media, NSC, Waves Training Solutions. Together, we design and deliver training and exercise solutions for EA staff in order to build confidence and competence in their incident roles and responsibilities as part of the EA Incident Management Training and Exercising Framework.  Our consortium team involved Sara Lane-Dredge, Adrian Seward, Shelley Evans and James Harvey as exercise controllers and facilitators, and staff from a number of JBA offices provided additional inputs to help simulate a more realistic exercise.

The exercise controllers conducted hot debriefs immediately after the handover to provide the EA teams with an opportunity to discuss the exercise, identifying what went well during the management of the simulated incident and possible areas for future improvement.Exercise Elmet

Exercise Elmet was delivered using JEMS, the JBA exercise Management system, which simulates real-time flood events and is part of the JBA4Resilience EnvirEx suite. The JEMS system facilitates decision making based on river and rainfall data and enables staff to make informed judgements on issuing flood warnings and flood alerts

 Want to know more?

Email our Head of Flood Resilience Phil Emonson to find out more about flood resilience training and exercising. You can also find out what other services we can offer to the private sector, government and third sector partners on our flood resilience web page.

Leave a Reply