ITU-ETC Emergency Telecommunications Table Top Simulation Guide

Publication Date

Simulations are an effective training tool to develop skills and deepen understanding of disaster response through practical experience.

Simulation exercises are key for people who work in disaster management so they can verify and rehearse processes, procedures, identify gaps and test plans that will come into effect during a real emergency response operation. Participants involved in simulations can seize the opportunity to enhance knowledge and strengthen preparedness and coordination measures which are critical when disasters strike. 

There are different types of simulations exercises, but for the purpose of enhancing preparedness and resilience in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector, this guide focuses on Table Top exercises or TTX.

These types of exercises, which are desk-based, help participants test and refine national plans -- particularly national emergency telecommunications plans – including policies and regulatory frameworks. The exercises also give a view of whether networks, redundant communications capacity, personnel, and other telecommunication systems are in place and ready to be used for disaster response. 

This guide offers a step-by-step process for creating table-top simulation exercises at national and local levels and provides all the necessary tools to practice informed decision making and coordination using a multi-disciplinary stakeholder approach.

Use this guide to:

  • Test or evaluate preparedness of National Emergency Telecommunications Plans (NETPs)
  • Train personnel and update knowledge
  • Evaluate decision making processes and coordination mechanisms
  • Strengthen coordination within organizations and among other sectors and institutions
  • Evaluate how participants react in specific emergency situations
  • Collect and organize information required for actual emergency response activities


This Guide has been jointly developed by ITU in partnership with the ETC.

Current View