2.2. Evaluating and updating the plan

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Simulations are also useful in training, and can be used at different levels of teaching. They put the usefulness and practicality of a disaster response plan to the test.

One of the advantages of these exercises is the participation in the disaster scenario of all the personnel and institutions involved in the response plan. In many countries, simulation exercises are an integral part of mechanisms for accrediting institutions (hospitals, for example).

Larger-scale simulations are multidisciplinary and intersectoral, with participation by national disaster management agencies, civil defense, police, fire departments, specialized search and rescue teams, health teams, and others.

The value of simulation is to observe the integration, consistency, and performance of the different institutions and participating personnel. It also analyzes all the variables involved in response, including roles and timeframes. These observations assist in making the necessary improvements to the emergency plan. Simulations in the health sector, and in hospitals in particular, should be conducted at least every six months.