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Preparing for the worst

Five months after INTERSCHUTZ, in November 2015, disaster-relief experts will congregate once again in North Germany under the umbrella of the crisis management exercise "LÜKEX 2015".

08 Dec. 2014

  • LÜKEX 2015 will simulate a severe storm tide

Hannover. Five months after INTERSCHUTZ, in November 2015, disaster-relief experts will congregate once again in North Germany under the umbrella of the crisis management exercise "LÜKEX 2015". Last year's exercise simulated a food-borne virus epidemic. In 2015 the focus will shift to a severe storm tide along the North Sea coast. The goal is to streamline strategic cooperation between the regional and federal authorities in the event of an exceptional national emergency.

The four federal states located on the North Sea coast (i.e. Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein) will train an integrated response to a simulated crisis situation. In particular, the goal is to coordinate the work of the national and regional crisis teams, as well as the central and local civil defence authorities. This includes alerting the population, collaboration with critical infrastructure operators and the maintenance of essential services.

The simulation assumes that an exceptional storm tide has inundated the North German lowlands and the adjacent areas. Due to sustained high water levels in rivers and waterways, there is also a serious risk of flooding in the hinterland. This scenario will be augmented by widespread evacuations and the failure of critical services such as energy and public transport, with corresponding cascade effects in inland areas.

Extending from Friesland in the west to Harburg in the east, LÜKEX 2015 will directly involve the civil defence organizations and the police authorities in Oldenburg and Lüneburg. Other civil defence authorities – eleven in Lower Saxony alone – will participate to a lesser extent.

The forthcoming LÜKEX exercise will also extend to the federal states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Brandenburg, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Palatinate. "The cooperative anticipation of disasters and crises is an important element in a functioning risk avoidance system," explains Mirko Temmler, the project manager responsible for LÜKEX at Lower Saxony's Interior Ministry. "As is the case in a real-life situation, it is important to act together, promote mutual understanding and make an important contribution to our safety and security."

At the beginning of this year a four-person group at the Interior Ministry commenced preparations for LÜKEX 2015 together with their counterparts in the partner organizations and authorities. "We have put together a great team which has acquired extensive experience with such exercises, including previous LÜKEX simulations," Temmler emphasizes.

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