Flood Exercise Wessex Storm

JEMS takes flood exercising to new heights during 30 hour exercise, Exercise Wessex Storm.

The Environment Agency in the South West Region approached JBA Consulting with an ambitious plan to deliver a 30 hour continuous flood exercise covering the Bristol Avon Catchment, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The purpose of the exercise was to deliver a training opportunity for all Wessex Area staff and Wessex Monitoring & Forecasting Duty Staff at Region, involved in the management of flood incidents under realistic conditions.

On 13 and 14 March 2012, some 200 flood incident response staff worked round the clock responding to the simulated major flood event designed, planned and delivered by JBA in partnership with the EA. Players included Flood Forecasters at the Exeter office using the National Flood Forecasting System (NFFS) in real time to run hydraulic models from data packaged up by JBA. Two Area Incident Rooms were fully operational at Blandford and Bridgwater issuing flood warnings and controlling operations on the ground. Live deployment of operational gangs and equipment such as high capacity pumps were an integral part of the exercise ensuring success and realism at all levels. A multi-agency teleconference was held with other Category 1 and 2 responders from Avon and Somerset.

JEMS was key to the exercise’s success

  • Delivering rainfall, river level and sea conditions from 200 telemetered gauging stations
  • Simulating flood warning and operational alarms
  • Delivering weather radar images, Met Office and Flood Forecasting Centre warnings and alerts at predetermined times during the exercise
  • Providing a direct feed from NFFS so that flood forecasts could be displayed on hydrographs to all players with access to JEMS
  • Providing hyperlinks to Web Reports generated from NFFS giving more information regarding the flooding scenario
  • Ran for a continuous 40 hours allowing pre-exercise data to be accessed

To find out more, please contact Peter May (01633 413514).

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