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The course provides an introduction to the basics of emergency management exercises and lays the groundwork for subsequent courses on the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).
The course objectives include developing a fundamental understanding of exercises, identifying the tasks involved in each phase of the exercise process, explaining the role of exercises in validating capabilities, and identifying the phases of exercise evaluation and improvement planning.
The primary audience for the course includes emergency management and homeland security professionals from various fields, such as EM, PIO, Fire, EMS, PH, LE, PW, VOAD, and private industry.
FEMA IS 120.C: An Introduction to Exercises Answers
Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
Fundamental principles of HSEEP
-guided by elected and appointed officials -capability based, objective driven -progressive planning approach -whole community integration -informed by risk -common methodology
Steps to informed risk
1. identify threats and hazards of concern 2. give threats and hazards context 3. establish capability targets 4. apply the results
Common methodology steps
-prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery -program management, strategy and planning, design and development, conduct, evaluation and improvement planning
Progressive planning approach statements
-common set of program objectives -complexity increases over time
Exercises help to:
-clarify roles and responsibilities -improve inerrancy coordination -find resource gaps -develop individual performance -identify opportunities for improvement
identify and asses risk
determine which capabilities should be evaluated, review historical and current data on existing potential and perceived threats for insight into the community’s current strengths and opportunities
estimate capability requirements
determine which resources are required to address identified risks and identify where the community currently stands in meeting those requirements
build and sustain capabilities
determine the best way to use or allocate resources to build
plan to deliver capabilities
NPS is the integration of the whole community in the planning process. Integration helps ensure that exercise planning accounts for core capability relationships and dependencies across mission areas
capability validation occurs during the commission of the planned excericise. Measuring progress toward achieving the NPG assists in resource allocation and preparedness priorities
-distinct critical elements neccessary -essential for execution of each of five mission areas -common language preparedness across the whole community -not exclusive to any single level of government or organization
common core capabilities
-planning -public information and warning -operational coordination
Multi year approach steps
-engaging elected and appointed officials -establishing multiyear exercise program priorities -developing a multitude year training and exercise plan -maintaining a rolling summary of exercise outcomes -managing exercise program resources
seminar: orient participants to or provide an overview into strategies, plans, policies, or procedures
participant goal: orient participants to new or existing plans, policies, or procedures; research or assess interagency capabilities or inter jurisdictional operations conduct characteristics: casual atmosphere, minimal time constraints, lecture based
workshop: workshops are more structured than seminars.
participant: develop a written product as a group, in coordinated activities, obtain consensus, collect or share information conduct characteristics: broad attendance by relevant stakeholders, conducted based on clear objectives/goals, more participant discussion than lecture based seminar
tabletop exercise: facilitate conceptual understanding, identify strengths and areas for improvements and or achieving changes in perception
-enhance general awareness -enhance roles and responsibility -validate plans -rehearse plans and assess types of systems in a defined incident
game: operations that often involve two or more teams
participants: explore decision making processes and consequences, conduct “what-if” analysis, evaluate existing an potential strategies
operations based exercises
Goals: validate plans, policies, agreements and procedures clarify roles and responsibilities and identify gaps and improve opportunities
coordinated, supervised activity usually employed to validate a specific function or capability in a single agency organization
designed to validate and evaluate capabilities, multiple functions and or sub functions or interdependent groups of functions
full scale exercise
high stress agency, multi jurisdictional activities designed to test coordinated responses and rapid problem solving skills
discussion based experience
focus on strategic, policy oriented issues
during workshop: review program accomplishment to date -review each jurisdictions progress and accomplishments over past year -translate needs into priorities and develop specific obj -compare OP actions -coordinate exercise activités and scheduling
Multi year training and exercise schedule
-use to: avoid duplicating their effort combine exercises and ensure the exercises don’t conflict combine training and ensure training does not conflict optimize and combine funding where possible prevent over training and excercising
Key factors to consider that drive the exercise design and development process
-multi year training and exercise program -elected and appointed officials intent and guidance -relevant AAR/IP from real world events and exercises
exercise program priorities
-determine type and range of training/ exercise – guide program planning and resource allocation
purpose of TEPW
engage elected and appointed officials in identifying exercise program priorities and planning a schedule for training and exercise events
who should participate in the TEPW
-excerise planning team -whole community -non profit organizations -elected and appointed officials
Exercise planning team manage aspects:
design development conduct evaluation
Successful planning team
-define roles, responsibilities, and functional requirements -engage elected and appointed officials and whole community leadership in exercise planning -use project management principles -organise the team using NIMS ICs
five types of meetings
-concept and objectives meeting -inital planning meeting -midterm planning meeting -master scenario events list meeting -final planning meeting
formal beginning of the planning process identify the scope and objectives
formal beginning of development phase identify scope of exercise
-reengage elected and appointed officials -exercise organization -scenario and timeline development -logistics and admin requirements
-chronological listing that supplements the exercise scenario: event synopses, expected participant responses, obj and core capabilities , responsible personal
An FPM should be conducted for all exercises to ensure that all elements of the exercise are ready for conduct. Prior to the FPM, the exercise planning team receives final drafts of all exercise materials. No major changes to the exercise’s design, scope, or supporting documentation should take place at or following the FPM. The FPM ensures that all logistical requirements have been met, outstanding issues have been identified and resolved, and exercise products are ready for printing.
discussion points for CO
exercise planning timelines and milestones, proposed exercise objectives and their aligned core capabilities, potential exercise scope
Components for master scenario events list
-speciic injects and methods used to provide them -expected participants responses -event synopses -objectives and core capabilities to be addressed
Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-bound
Exercise Director Evaluator(s) Lead Evaluator Facilitator(s) Controller(s) Simulators Senior Controller Safety Controllers Exercise Assembly Area Controller Players Actors Observers
all activities occur prior to PBE
-conduct participants briefings
control is guidance for
Communication and coordination Roles and responsibilities Safe and effective play Simulation
operation-based activities except
-player hot wash provides an opportunity for players to discuss strengths and opportunities for improvement
effective exercise evaluation involve
Planning for exercise evaluation Observing the exercise and collecting exercise data during conduct Analyzing collected data to identify strengths and areas for improvement Reporting exercise outcomes in a draft After-Action Report (AAR)
The document that summarizes key information related to the evaluation Overview of performance related to each exercise objective and associated core capabilities Length, format, and development timeframe of the AAR depend on the exercise type and scope -anaylsis of core capabilities
-from analytic basis for determining if critical tasks -complied to create the after action report
Final steps of IP
-tracking and validation of previous corrective actions until implementation -distribution to excercise planners, participants and other preparedness stakeholders -corrective actions tracked to completion
The focus of the master scenario events list(MSEL) meeting is to develop the MSEL, a chronological listing that supplements the exercise scenario. The MSEL should contain:
All of the above
All of the following information is contained in an exercise evaluation plan except:
Evaluator safety requirements
Through exercises, what can agencies determine about their resources?
Capabilities and performance
In the event that sensitive or classified material might be involved, to what security precautions should the planning team adhere?
Storage, disposal and incident reporting and access and dissemination and identification and marking rules and requirements
A trusted agent is an individual who maintains the integrity of the exercise by preserving confidentiality. Which member of the exercise planning team serves as the trusted agent?
All members of the exercise planning team
A training and exercise plan (TEP) does all of the following except:
Document exercise scenarios
What is the focus of the initial planning meeting (IPM)?
Develop exercise documentation
Operations-based exercises are used to:
Practice and maintain current skills
All of the following are true statements about progressive exercise approach except:
Discussion-based exercises are not part of a progressive exercise approach
How many core capabilities address the greatest risks to the nation?
The scenario should be credible enough for participants to suspend their inherent disbelief in hypothetical situations.
Which is an example of operations-based exercise documentation ONLY?
In discussion based exercise, which document supports the scenario narrative?
Situation Manual (SitMan)
How many mission areas and core capabilities are included in the National Preparedness Goal(NPG)?
Five mission areas and 32 core capabilities
An exercise program in which each exercise builds on previous is called:
An effective exercise program can help an organization:
Maximize efficiency and resources and maximize time and funding
Participation level refers to:
Organizations and personnel attending the exercise
A progressive approach allows an organization to develop a multi year exercise program to which exercise increase in complexity and each successive exercise builds upon the previous one until mastery is achieved.
All of the following are true statements about operations-based exercises except:
They use in-depth discussion as a means to problem solve
Which operations based exercise is most complex?
What is an outcome from a Master Scenario Events List (MSEL) meeting?
Key event injects and delivery timeline
Operations-based exercises, in most cases, involve actual and sometimes dangerous play. As a precaution, what roles should be appointed to mitigate and/or respond to on-scene emergencies?
What guidance enables a collaborative, whole community approach to national preparedness that engages individuals, families, communities, private and nonprofit, faith-based organizations, and all levels of governments?
National Preparedness Goal(NPG)
Which are mission areas of the National Preparedness Goals (NPG)?
All of the above
Which exercise is an operations-based exercise?
Select the information that is provided in an exercise evaluation plan
Plans, policies, procedures, and agreements
Complete the sentence: Discussion based exercises include __________, whereas, operations-based exercises include __________.
Tabletop exercises, and games; drills, functional exercises
Which of the following is a discussion point for a Master Scenario Events List (MSEL) meeting?
Effective exercise program management includes:
All of the above
Which discussion-based exercise type uses models or simulation?
What is the purpose of the Training and Exercise Plan (TEP)?
Document Exercise Scenarios
Effective exercise program management involves all of the following except:
Limiting the exercise cycle to a single fiscal year
When should you engage your elected and appointed officials?
Throughout the planning cycle
Which type of operations-based exercise is characterized by a real-time simulated environment, simulated deployment of resources and personnel, and the use of a Sim Cell and Master Scenario Events List (MSEL)?
The layout of the room is an important element in a successful discussion-based exercise
The After-Action Report (AAR) contains what information?
Listing of event synopses, expected participant responses, and objectives and core capability targets
What is the focus of operations-based exercises?
Effective exercise programs help organizations:
Which items should exercise program managers consider when setting the foundation for individual exercises?