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  • 1. Conducting Exercises in Emergency Management
  • 2. Lesson OneLesson Objectives:• Define the word “Exercise”• Outline the different ways exercises can improve readiness.• Identify the main goals for conducting exercises.• Distinguish between the seven different exercise types.• Describe the building block approach to conducting exercises.
  • 3. Rationale for Conducting Exercises• Definition(s) - Exercise: – Something done or performed as a means of practice or training. – A putting into action, use, operation, or effect.• Exercises Improve Readiness By: – Providing the opportunity to evaluate agency operations and plans. – Allowing the demonstration of community resolve in the event of a catastrophic event.• The main goals for conducting exercises are: – Clarify roles and responsibilities. – Identify resource gaps. – Develop and improve interagency coordination. – Improve individual performances. – Identify opportunities for improvement.
  • 4. The Building Block Approach• Typically, exercises range widely in cost, size, scope, complexity, purpose, and approach.• Exercise should be planned in a cycle that increases in complexity. Each successive exercise should build on the scale and experience of the previous one.• In the building block approach, there are seven accepted types of exercises. Each of the seven types fall into one of two categories: Discussion-based exercises and Operations-based exercises.
  • 5. The Building Block Approach
  • 6. Categories• Category One: • Category Two: – Discussion-based exercises – Operations-based exercises • Seminars • Drills • Workshops • Functional Exercises • Tabletops • Full-Scale Exercises • Games
  • 7. Discussion-Based Exercises• Concept: – Discussion-based exercises, as suggested by the name, primarily focus on participant discussions.• Discussion-based exercises: – Are typically, less complex or compound with regard to implementation and execution. – Provide an environment for discussing or developing plans, agreements, training, and procedures. – Typically focus on strategic, policy-oriented issues. – Include seminars, workshops, tabletops, and games. – Do NOT involve the deployment of resources.• Note: – In this type of environment, a facilitator or a presenter will lead the discussions to help keep participants on track and that exercise objectives are being met.
  • 8. Discussion-Based Exercises Cont.• Definition for later use: – Facilitator; a person responsible for leading or coordinating the work of a group, as one who leads a group discussion. – In emergency management, the facilitator can vary in each exercise. As the exercises become more complex, they require a more experienced individual to lead the exercise. – A facilitator is typically a member of the group who has a wide knowledge-base of the department’s or agencys overall logistics.• Types of discussion-based exercises: – Seminars; No facilitator is needed. – Workshops; Any group member can facilitate. – Tabletops; Requires an experienced individual within the group. – Games; Facilitation is less of a priority in this phase.
  • 9. Discussion-Based Exercises Cont.Discussion-Based Personnel:• Presenters – Deliver the exercise presentation.• Facilitators/Moderators – Lead group discussion.• Controllers – Interpret rules and provide players with information.• Evaluators – Observe and collect exercise data.• Players – Discuss issues based on professional knowledge.• Observers/VIPs – View but do not participate in exercise.
  • 10. Seminars• Concept: – A seminar is an informal discussion-based exercise led by a presenter or facilitator, used to teach or orientate participants.• Seminar Goals: – Introduce participants to new or existing plans, policies, or procedures. – Explore or assess interagency capabilities or inter- jurisdictional operations. – Construct a common framework of understanding.• Behavior Characteristics: – Casual atmosphere. – Few time constraints. – Lecture-based
  • 11. Workshops• Concept: – A workshop is a formal discussion-based exercise led by a facilitator or presenter, used to build or achieve a product.• Workshop Goals: – Develop new ideas, processes, or procedures. – Develop a written product as a group in coordinated activities. – Obtain consensus, agreement, or compromise.• Behavior Characteristics: – Workshops require more participant discussion than a lecture-based seminar. – Break-out sessions are commonly used to explore parts of an issue with smaller groups.
  • 12. Tabletop Exercises• Concept: – Tabletop exercises (TTX) involve senior staff, elected or appointed officials, or other key personnel in an informal group discussion centered on a hypothetical scenario.• Goals: – Identify strengths and shortfalls. – Enhance understanding of new concepts. – Seek to change existing attitudes and perspectives.• Behavior Characteristics: – Requires an experienced facilitator. – In-depth discussions. – Slow-paced problem solving.
  • 13. Games• Concept: – In the world of Emergency Management, a game is a simulation of operations using rules, data, and procedures designed to depict an actual or assumed real-life situation.• Goals: – In a game, participants: • Explore the processes and consequences of decision-making. • Conduct “what-if” analyses of existing plans. • Test existing and potential strategies.• Behavior Characteristics: – This does not involve the use of actual resources. – Simulations typically included two or more teams. – Includes models and simulations of increasing complexity as the game progresses.
  • 14. Operations-Based Exercises• Operations-based exercise: – Involve deployment of resources and personnel. – Are more complex than discussion-based types. – Require execution of plans, policies, agreements, and procedures. – Clarify roles and responsibilities. – Improve individual and team performances. – Include drills and both functional and full-scale exercises.
  • 15. Operations-Based Exercises Cont. • Category Two: – Operations-based exercises Include: • Drills • Functional Exercises • Full-Scale Exercises
  • 16. Drills• Concept: – Drills consist of supervised activity that tests a specific operation or function of a single agency.• Goals: – Obtain training on new equipment. – Test and assess new procedures. – Practice and maintain role skills. – Prepare and plan for future complex exercises.• Behavior Characteristics: – Immediate feedback. – Realistic but isolated environment.
  • 17. Functional Exercises• Concepts: – A functional exercise (FE) is a single or multi-agency activity designed to evaluate capabilities and multiple functions using simulated response.• Goals: – Evaluate the management of Emergency Operations Centers, command post, and headquarters. – Assess the adequacy of response plans and resources.• Behavior Characteristics: – Simulated deployment of resources and personnel. – Rapid problem solving. – Highly stressful environment.
  • 18. Functional Exercises Cont.• This format is applicable where the activity is capable of being effectively evaluated in isolation from other emergency management activity.• In contrast to the Full-Scale Exercise, the objective of the Functional Exercise is to: – Demonstrate the execution of specific plans and procedures, – Directly apply established policy, plans, and procedures under emergency conditions, within or by a particular functional team(s).• Most deployment of resources is simulated.
  • 19. Functional Exercises Cont.• Differences between drills and Functional Exercises. – Drills involve a single function; Functional Exercises involve multiple functions. – Drills involve actual deployment of resources and personnel; Functional exercises use simulation.
  • 20. Full-Scale Exercises• Concept: – Full-Scale Exercises (FSE) are high-stressed multi- agency, multi-jurisdictional activities involving actual deployment of resources in a coordinated response, as if a real incident had occurred. – Goals: • Assess plans and procedures under crisis conditions. • Evaluate coordinated responses under crisis conditions. – Behavior/Conduct Characteristics: • Mobilization of units, personnel, equipment, and gear. • Highly stressful, realistic environment. • Includes scripted exercise scenarios.