A Rush-Hour Disaster Simulation in Singapore

A Rush-Hour Disaster Simulation in Singapore

A Rush-Hour Disaster Simulation, organised concurrently with the Asia Pacific Homeland Security (APHS) conference and exhibition, would be organised on 26 October, 2015.

The exercise aims to explore the strategic responses of both the private and public sectors to a disaster scenario in an urban Asian commercial hub, affecting areas such as business, transportation, infrastructure and public health.

This six-hour Tabletop Exercise, held in Asia for the first time, will be jointly facilitated by Mr. Nathaniel Forbes, Director of Forbes Calamity Prevention (Pte) Ltd, and Mr. P.K. Tan, Head of Security at Marina Bay Sands.

Mr. P.K. Tan, has been the Vice President of Security of Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd since its inception in 2009. Previously, he was also a former Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police for the Singapore Police Force for 25 years.

Mr. Nathaniel Forbes has 19 years of experience in the field of urban resilience. With certifications from the British Business Continuity Institute and the Disaster Recovery Institute International, he has provided training and consulting for business continuity management, emergency management and crisis management to various multinational companies around Asia and Europe.

As there are only 40 places available, we would encourage your early response to register for this Tabletop Exercise. A detailed programme is enclosed.

Mr. Jimmy LAU, Chairman Coges Asia


An incident threatening lives and property during evening rush hour in a high-rise commercial-retail-hotel property, above a public transportation interchange, in the core of a major Asian city. It will be an imaginary scenario in a real location.

The incident’s consequences and impact will increase in severity over time, requiring discussion and cooperation between emergency authorities responsible for public safety and corporate security and resilience managers responsible for business continuity.


For the first time in Asia, this exercise offers a private forum in which senior officials and executives work together to develop responses to an urban disaster. Exercises that involve only government officers or only business executives can never be complete because they force each sector to make assumptions about what the other will do. This Tabletop Exercise specifically addresses that omission through scenario planning and facilitation by a former senior police official and an experienced business resilience advisor working together. 


Each participant will be assigned to a table with six (6) other professionals from the public, private and NGO sectors. There will be no role-players. Scenario developments will be delivered by the facilitators.

For each scenario development there will be:

5 minutes of facilitator directions

15 minutes of shared response planning at each table

20 minutes of facilitated group discussion and ‘lessons’

Scenario decisions For Cooperation & Discussion 

1. Evacuation Evacuate or shelter-in-place? Public-private coordination. Conflicting instructions. Assembly points for 5,000 building occupants. Consequences of rush-hour evacuation.

2. Command-and-control At an incident scene on both public and private property. Coordination with property owners and business executives. Interface to government authorities. Corporate emergency access schemes.

3. Communication challenges

Multiple spokesmen: for emergency responders, for companies affected, for government officials.

Multiple audiences: employers, employees, visitors, guests, press, government, and public.

Multiple channels: corporate notification systems, social media, public address systems, email, and web sites.

4. Personnel tracking Identifying missing employees and locating them. Can ‘call trees’ ever be effective? How will corporate recovery teams be mobilized? How quickly?

5. Transport Dispersing 10,000 people if public transport is shut down. Moving recovery personnel to remote recovery sites. Cascade of consequences of road closures in a city centre.

6. Business impact End-of-day business deadlines. Abandoned meals and purchases in retail establishments. Collateral damage claims. Adjusting insurance claims. Legal disputes about responsibility.

7. Casualty management When emergency responders are overwhelmed; corporate responsibility for employee and visitor casualties.

8. Next-of-kin notification Public responsibility for death notification, private responsibility for duty-of-care. Mobilising sufficient trained personnel. Mistaken identification.

9. Service Recovery Getting ‘back in business’. Restoring utilities, communications and transportation.  Re-opening hotels, restaurants and shops. Regaining consumer confidence and public trust.

10.Post-traumatic Stress Intervention Delayed reactions. Psychological ‘triage’. Requests for medical leave. Individual or group interventions? Counselling.