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Strengthening Community Resilience Through Exercise Hiyaa: A Full-Scale Emergency Simulation

Strengthening Community Resilience Through Exercise Hiyaa: A Full-Scale Emergency Simulation

The full-scale Emergency Exercise, Exercise Hiyaa, was executed on 24th February 2024, at Hiyaa Tower 16, Hulhumale’ Phase 2. This full-scale emergency exercise, executed in partnership with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and various response agencies, supported by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and USAID, under the Strengthening Preparedness and Resilience through Inclusive Community Governance (SPRING) Project.

The primary aim of the full-scale Emergency Exercise, Exercise Hiyaa was to evaluate and enhance the readiness and efficiency of First Responders and the community in tackling emergencies such as fire incidents within a high-rise setting. Through the exercise, participating agencies worked to refine emergency response and evacuation procedures specific to high-rise fire incidents. An inclusive governance approach was also employed during the exercise by engaging with the community to ensure that they would be able to have the necessary knowledge to protect themselves during emergencies. More than 100 participants from 11 agencies participated in the final Emergency Exercise.


In preparation for the main exercise, a tabletop drill focusing on high-rise evacuation and firefighting strategies was also conducted with key response agencies in the country.

The exercise, as well as the tabletop exercise that took place in preparation for the event, provided a crucial platform to test the existing emergency response mechanisms, standard operating procedures and plans of the MRC, NDMA and other partner agencies.


Following the exercise, a debriefing event was held and an after-action report was developed, where participating agencies conducted a collaborative review process to develop an improvement plan. This plan helped identify challenges encountered during the exercise and how these issues could be mitigated. 

The execution of a full-scale emergency exercise such as Exercise Hiyaa highlights the importance of collective commitment and action in fostering a culture of preparedness and building community resilience against disasters and emergencies by equipping communities with the knowledge and skills necessary to bounce back from disasters and emergencies.