Exercise – Disaster Preparedness
Exercises are one of the most important parts of the preparedness cycle. There are many types exercises that you can conduct to prepare for a disaster. These range from discussion-based to full-scale exercises.
The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) notes that “exercises are a key component of national preparedness-they provide elected and appointed officials and stakeholders from across the whole community with the opportunity to shape planning, assess and validate capabilities, and address areas for improvement.”
ReadyZoneHQ follows HSEEP doctrine, which uses a common methodology for planning and conducting exercises as part of a comprehensive exercise cycle.
The process includes the following elements:
Exercise Design and Development
The majority of exercises are designed and developed over the course of several months. In fact, more complex exercises can take over a year to plan. We work with organizations to identify a core exercise planning team of key stakeholders that will support the entire process including the identification and development of exercise objectives, the design of the scenario, the review of exercise documentation, and the coordination of logistics where appropriate. We focus on developing realistic and challenging exercises that will test an organization’s plans and procedures while engaging participants throughout the exercise.
The length of exercise play depends on the type and scope of the exercise, as well as the exercise’s objectives. Our team has supported the conduct of hundreds of exercises that have ranged from a few hours to weeks of exercise play. We use proven processes and detailed checklists to ensure the efficient and effective conduct of exercises.
We provide experienced evaluators with extensive subject matter expertise to assess performance against exercise objectives, and identify and document strengths and areas for improvement relative to the core capabilities selected for evaluation by the exercise planning team.
The National Preparedness Goal identified 32 core capabilities–these are the distinct critical elements needed to achieve the goal.
During improvement planning, ReadyZoneHQ supports the development of a comprehensive improvement plan with actionable items that are identified by key exercise stakeholders. ReadyZoneHQ can also support tracking corrective actions to completion in the months following the completion of an exercise. These improvement plans and corrective action are a required element of numerous grant programs, and can also be used to justify funds required for people, process, and technology improvements for an organization’s preparedness program.
Our HSEEP certified experts use proven project planning methodologies to ensure that exercises are developed quickly and efficiently. We leverage best practices/lessons learned from recent, relevant exercises/disasters, and incorporate the latest relevant exercise guidance/standards.
Take action now, and contact us to find out how we can jump start your exercise program.
Case Study – Support to the Hawaii Department of Health Hurricane Exercise
The exercise was a Functional Exercise that took place over 3 days at the organization’s alternate Department Operations Center as part of the state’s annual Makani Pahili hurricane exercise. ReadyZoneHQ designed and developed the exercise over the course of a six-month period with members of the department’s exercise planning team. The exercise successfully enabled participants to assess their policies as they pertained to the coordination of public health tasks and activities during the post-landfall response to a hurricane scenario.