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Response to Chemical Spills in PERSGA Region

Within its capacity building component PERSGA held a regional training workshop on "responding to chemical spills (HNS) hazardous and other noxious substances."
at its regional center for marine Emergency Mutual Aids in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (EMARSGA) in Hurghada during 13-15 September 2011.
The workshop, which was organized in the framework of PERSGA Annual Training Program, was attended by 19 participants from PERSGA countries. The main objective of the workshop was to train the participants on responding to chemical spills.
The workshop included a practical exercise in which the participants were divided into response teams, each team has to response to the incident with the available resources.
The workshop also included introduction to the CAMEO toolkit, which is a software suit programs that contains CAMEO Databases , CAMEO Chemicals , ALOHA and MARPLOT.
CAMEO Database: includes 8 units used for data management in case of emergency. The system is designed to facilitate storage and fast transferring of basic data, such as personnel, buildings, and response equipment data.
CAMEO Chemical: is software including thousands of the commonly used chemicals, focusing on specific response procedure recommended for pollution incidents by each of these chemicals. The system includes to types of data sheets, one providing chemical and physical properties of the chemical, its behavior in the environment, health impacts, specific first aids, etc. The other type describes the chemical specific response procedure. The chemical database can be updated by the user. NOAA updates this database regularly at the link: http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov
MARPLOT:  Mapping Applications for Response, Planning, and Local Operational Tasks: is mapping software, through which the user can manage their data on a map, for example (roads, factories, commercial centers, schools, response centers).
User can view these data in one integrated view with the data from other CAMEO modules and can also generate maps; user can quickly display the threatened area on the map, which will help the decision taker to quick decision such as evacuation of crowded areas. The areas contaminated by potential or actual chemical release scenarios also can be overlaid on the maps to determine potential impacts. On the Other hand the module can work as a free GIS application that can display any Geo-referenced data. One important advantage of this system, is that it can export the data of the threaten areas in Google earth format. Which means it can be displayed on Google and easily distributed to a wide range of users.
ALOHA:  Areal Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres: is an atmospheric dispersion model used for evaluating releases of hazardous chemical vapors. It allows the user to estimate the downwind dispersion of a chemical cloud based on the toxicological/physical characteristics of the released chemical, atmospheric conditions, and specific circumstances of the release.  ALOHA can estimate threat zones associated with several types of hazardous chemical releases, including toxic gas clouds, fires, and explosions. Threat zones can be plotted on maps with MARPLOT to display the location of other facilities storing hazardous materials and vulnerable locations, such as hospitals and schools. Specific information about these locations can be extracted from CAMEO information modules to help make decisions about the degree of hazard posed.

Emergency Mutual Aid Center in the Red sea and Gulf of Aden