The Effectiveness of Table-Top Exercises in Improving Pandemic Crisis Preparedness

Dear colleagues,


It is a pleasure to announce that a new scientific paper has been published on the CBRN special, that is one of the 3 the special issue of SICC Series - CBRNe Conference 2020 published on the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering (Guest editors of the special issue: Dr. Andrea Malizia, Dr. Marco D'Arienzo and Dr. Parag Chatterjee).


Thornton, M.I., Iannotti, A., Quaranta, R., Russo, C. (2021). The effectiveness of table-top exercises in improving pandemic crisis preparedness. International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 463-471.






The World Health Organization carried out a global survey in 2018 to ascertain the level of preparedness for pandemic influenza. It was discovered that simulation exercises to test national pandemic influenza preparedness plans were carried out in the previous 5 years, by 42 out of the 104 countries that completed the survey. The table-top exercise (TTX) being the preferred format, with 86% of the countries using them. Although no table-top exercise can convey a realistic picture of a pandemic, they can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures, clarify roles and responsibilities, and identify resource gaps in an operational environment. However, table-top exercises are only effective if they are properly designed, carefully conducted, fully evaluated, and most importantly, the results and recommendations identified are actually implemented. TTXs used as part of preparedness for pandemics are not cost free, a failure to implement the lessons learned from them can have both human and economic consequences. To understand the value of TTXs, a sample of national and large scale TTXs are examined in an effort to identify the effectiveness of table-top exercises, as a part of improving pandemic crisis preparedness.

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