On February 13th 2019 a drill aiming at testing the operability and response of the solutions and services developed in the scope of STORM (Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Technical and Organisational Resources Management), an international project which is funded by the European Commission and involves 20 partners from 7 different countries, took place in the Roman Ruins of Troia.
The projected scenario for this drill began at 8:30 a.m. with an alarm coming from the project’s technological platform, which was triggered by the intersection and conjugation of data collected by the acoustic sensors and the weather station installed on location, and by the tide gauge mounted on the Secil quay, on the northern shore of the River Sado. Following the alarm, and given the situation’s predictable gravity, the Roman Ruins’ managers requested the Municipal Civil Protection Services (SMPC) and the company which is responsible for the conservation and restoration of the Roman Ruins of Troia – Nova Conservação e Restauro, S.A. – to conduct an evaluation of the wall of the fish-salting “Workshop XXI” (the only known example in the Roman World to still have a standing wall with a window, along with the joist that once supported the roof). After realising that the strong wind, the high tide and the impact of the waves could lead to its collapse, the necessary means were activated in order to stabilise it, resorting to the use of sandbags and to the timber shoring of the window.
The following institutions were activated for the drill: Grândola’s Fire Brigade, Troia GNR (National Republican Guard), Setúbal’s Harbourmaster – who conducted the rescue operations (COS) –, the Maritime Police, and the Portuguese Navy, through its naval base in Troia. Besides the SMPC’s own resources, those of entities such as the parish council of Carvalhal, Infratroia e Troiaresort were also activated. In addition to the 56 people directly involved in the drill, there were several emergency and logistics vehicles present, as well as a backhoe loader and a maritime police speedboat.
In this drill, the following tests were carried out:
The response of the technological platform that was developed in the course of the project, which will allow for a meticulous preparation in order to cope with an emergency and its utility in case one should effectively happen;
The response of the site’s officials, and of the civil protection’s agents to an emergency – the risk of collapse of the fish-salting workshop – and their articulation in the field in case of an occurrence in which, contrary to what would be expected, there were no victims and no human lives at stake;
The operability of the Special Intervention Plan for the Troia Peninsula (Plano Especial de Intervenção da Península de Troia).
The SMPC of the Municipality of Grândola, a partner in the Storm Project, was one of the entities in charge of organising the drill, in close cooperation with other partners such as Troiresort (the managing body of the Roman Ruins of Troia) and the Portuguese company Nova Conservação e Restauro, S.A, with support from the Italian company Engineering – Ingegneria Informatica SpA, a leading partner in the STORM Project.
The drill proceeded at a good pace and the established plan was carried out with a remarkable spirit of cooperation among the participants. Representatives of all partners involved in the STORM Project were also present, along with a great number of guest observers; their evaluation of the operations and the response of the solutions and services that were developed by the STORM Project was extremely positive. Another aspect that was highly praised was the response of the SMPC’s agents as well as that of the civilian and military authorities, particularly the Portuguese Maritime Authority, who took the lead of the relief operations (COS) and who supported, with recognized success, the establishment of a new paradigm in terms of action and relief operations, in which the focus is no longer solely the protection of human lives, but equally the safeguarding of the cultural heritage.
In this video you can watch a summary of the drill’s main events: