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close this bookTrainee's Manual on Disaster Preparedness (European Commission Humanitarian Office, 59 p.)
close this folderModule VI. Synthesis
View the documentSession I. EXODUS EXERCISE
View the documentSession II. BAHA EXERCISE



You are a senior official of the Civil Defense Center in the Department of National Defense. One morning whilst paying a courtesy call on your friend the Mayor of Quezon City you tell him how you have recently attended a Disaster Management Course at PAGASA. To your consternation he seizes on this point saying “I need you help!” He leads you to a map on the wall and says:

“I am concerned about the increasing risk of a major industrial accident on our province. Industrial estates and housing developments are springing up everywhere. Truckload of petroleum products and other dangerous chemicals pass through EDSA daily. We all know that it is impossible to give 100% guarantee that there will not be an accident. Think of the oil tanker accident in the same highway last year.

I want you to conduct a “hypothetical exercise” to examine some of the problems that might arise if we were to have a major industrial accident in Quezon City, so that we can then proceed to the preparation of detailed contingency planning for such an event.

I suggest you base your “hypothetical exercise” on the following scenario. One of the convoy of trucks with petroleum and other dangerous products passing through EDSA lost control at the intersection of EDSA and Quezon Avenue and catches fire. Another truck is a container full of liquefied natural gas. Another contains liquid chlorine. (I pray that nobody would be so stupid as to assemble all these dangerous cargoes in a single convoy, but you never know.) The fire services advise that they are unable to contain the fire and there is a danger of BLEVE-type (Boiling Liquid and Evaporating Vapor Explosion) and a major chlorine spillage.

I have taken expert advice and here are some PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS:


We can expect to have about two hours between the moment that the fire services tell us that they are unable to contain the problem and an explosion and emission of gas.

Danger Area

The chlorine can be expected to disperse in an arc of 30 degree. Toxicity diminishes with distance: up to 7 km the danger is unacceptable; beyond that the effects are tolerable and can be mitigated if people stay indoors and breathe through wet towels or cloth.

The danger area for the BLEVE explosion will have a radius of 1 km.

Duration of Toxic Effect

The chlorine will disperse and degrade naturally within a period of 20 hours.

Expected Wind Speed

Average 2 km/hour

Wind Direction

The prevailing wind is from the South East but it can very by up to 20 degrees.


There is no recent census of population. Your group must estimate these, given the existing land use.

Here is a map of the area, I want you to do a quick preliminary map study and field reconnaissance and brief me on the following points. My aim is to evacuate everybody at risk before an emission of gas. We can attend to other details later:

1. What are the potential danger areas? Mark them on the map.

2. Approximately how many people are at risk? Tabulate.

3. Are there any installations or groups of people in the danger area which will require special attention (e.g., schools, hospitals)? If so, list them by type.

4. What are the possible evacuation routes? List the advantages and disadvantages of each.

5. What types of transport could be used for evacuation?

6. I expect to oversee the evacuation from the Operations Room at our Headquarters here in Quezon City, which is thankfully out of the danger area, but if we decide to establish a Forward Control Center, where should we put it? Give the position and be prepared to justify your recommendation.

7. What will be the effect on routine traffic in the area and what should we do about it?

8. What should we do about informing the public? If an accident occurs we want to be sure that they act correctly. Having prepared a contingency plan should we tell the public about it before the event? If your answer is “NO”, why not?

9. When we get an alert from the fire services how do we warn the public? Prepare a draft announcement.

10. Have you any suggestions to make based upon your own experience and expertise?


Working in five groups carry out map studies and reconnaissance of the area and be prepared to present your answers to the above questions, supported by a marked map, flip charts, and written notes here in this room at 1400H this afternoon.