Exercise ‘Off the Grid’ was a field exercise held in May 2017 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), based on the scenario of an extreme heat event with partial power outage effecting the CBD. The aim of the exercise focused on testing arrangements for establishing and coordinating a major emergency relief centre.
The City of Melbourne coordinated the exercise in conjunction with Victoria Police, the Department of Health and Human Services, Red Cross and the MCG, with support from Emergency Management Victoria other metropolitan councils. It tested parts of the CBD Safety Plan, specifically the shelter of people evacuated from the CBD.
The exercise began with a scene setting video to outline the scenario, culminating in the decision to open the MCG as an emergency relief centre. Over 300 participants were introduced to the exercise in 'real time', managed via a Master Schedule of Events – participants included local community members, international students, visually impaired with guide dogs, people with disabilities, parents and children from a local playgroup, and emergency services.
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