Preparedness is one of strategical goals of Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina, and part of Disaster risk reduction programme. Learning by doing is the best way for education. The simulation has been organized within 72 hours. Before the simulation, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina organized short training about Coordination mechanism of CE/CI. It was a pleasure to know that staff from CRS also participate on the training.
Serious earthquake in Bosnia and Herzegovina happen almost 50 years ago, in Banja Luka, on 1969. We are aware that from time to time this can happen. The response to floods and earthquake are different. Serious earthquake can cause a lot of material damage but for more human losses. Therefore, we choose for our simulation to have earthquake. In scenario earthquake magnitude from 5 to 8 occurred large area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The idea was activation of all procedures so far developed, usage of manual and handbooks available for the response and share the knowledge and experience and in the end self-assessment of capacities in each organization.
Through 72 hours staff could show what they already learn during so many trainings in this subject, or related to this subject in previous period. It has been amazing to see how people went into their roles, and acted like it was really disaster and we are planning the support. Involvement and role played by partners from Italy, Belgium, CRS and Caritas Europa contributed to atmosphere to be even more real. We used all templates by Caritas Internationalis and procedures. To be more realistic, some confusing information’s and requests, as well as moves forgotten or missed had a its own purpose to teach them, or just check knowledge.
The simulation has shown a lot of strengths and possible Caritas strengths in the future. We are aware of our capacities, but sometimes in a modest way. But, since simulation has been a way of learning, we have lessons learnt and gaps which needs to be filled with documents, clearer procedures, better connection with actors in and out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and new systematically trainings. These lessons we will use as base for future capacity building, to have better response and be really in service for peoples’ wellbeing.
Our intention is to find the way and expand number of partners and donors on next simulation exercise, with different disaster, and different needs within disaster.