These drills seek to simulate the difficulties that would result in a real situation, whether caused by fire, flooding or an environmental emergency, among others.
They are also known as live exercises and vary from small-scale drills, which study part of the response system, such as an evacuation, to full-scale exercises that assess the entire organisation governing the response to an incident. They provide the only means of fully testing crucial actions aimed at handling available resources.
The usefulness of drills can be assessed based on three approaches: the people taking part in them, the facilities where they are performed and the operations, procedures or protocols applied.
They help to improve familiarity with the facilities, awareness of the evacuation routes and where possible exits are located, to overcome the feeling of the lack of time, enhance people’s confidence in being able to face an emergency situation without losing control or panicking, and the feeling of security that comes from knowing what measures will be taken by the supervisors to ensure the appropriate level of safety.