Emergency Preparedness: What Are The Exercising Options?

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Planning for emergencies cannot be considered reliable until it is exercised and has proved to be workable, especially since false confidence may be placed in the integrity of a written plan.

Exercises should be designed to engage team members and get them working together to manage the response to a hypothetical incident. They enable organizations to identify strengths and incorporate them within best practices to sustain and enhance existing capabilities. There a number of ways to conduct your exercises;

Walkthroughs

These are basic training for team members. They are designed to familiarize your personnel with emergency response, business continuity and crisis communications plans and their roles and responsibilities as defined in your plans.

Tabletop Exercises

Tabletops are discussion based sessions where personnel meet in an informal, classroom setting to discuss roles during an incident. A coordinator guides participants through a discussion of a scenario. The duration of this type of exercise depends on the participants and the exercise objectives.

Functional Exercises

These are conducted to validate plans and readiness by performing duties in a simulated operational environment. Activities for a functional exercise are scenario driven, such as the failure of a critical business function or a specific hazard scenario.

Full-Scale Exercises

As close to the real thing as possible.These are a lengthy exercise which takes place on location using, as many resources as possible, trying to validate and test the equipment and personnel that would be called upon in a real event.

Develop an exercise program beginning with an assessment of needs and current capabilities. Review your risk assessment and program performance objectives.

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