Our Embassy, in fact all Embassies everywhere, plan for how they would handle emergency situations where their national citizens living abroad may be in distress or face danger. Such plans must be carefully drawn up and reviewed regularly, but no matter how often you revise such a document there is no substitute for actually testing the plan's effectiveness. Last week our Embassy here held an Emergency Exercise, in which Embassy staff responded to and acted upon a fictional emergency scenario and simulated putting the emergency plan into effect, watched by independent observers.
Whilst not directly involved I was asked to visit the Embassy during the morning of the exercise to take some photos of the proceedings, and the rest of the day I had to stay in the villa and respond to radio checks.
I won't go into any more detail than that, but from what I hear the exercise was a very worthwhile activity and the lessons learned will help to further strengthen the emergency plans.