Exercises play a vital role in national preparedness by enabling whole community stakeholders to test and validate plans and capabilities, and identify both capability gaps and areas for improvement. A well-designed exercise provides a low-risk environment to test capabilities, familiarize personnel with roles and responsibilities, and foster meaningful interaction and communication across organizations. The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) provides a set of guiding principles for exercise programs, as well as a common approach to planning and conducting individual exercises. This methodology applies to exercises in support of all national preparedness mission areas and ensures a consistent and interoperable approach to exercise design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.
The Training and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW)
Role of Exercises:
Exercises play a vital role in national preparedness by enabling whole community stakeholders to test and validate plans and capabilities, and identify both capability gaps and areas for improvement. A well- designed exercise provides a low-risk environment to test capabilities, familiarize personnel with roles and responsibilities, and foster meaningful interaction and communication across organizations. Exercises bring together and strengthen the whole community in its efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all hazards. Overall, exercises are cost-effective and useful tools that help the nation practice and refine our collective capacity to achieve the core capabilities in the National Preparedness Goal.
When identifying stakeholders, exercise program managers should consider individuals from
organizations throughout the whole community, including but not limited to:
• Elected and appointed officials responsible for providing direction and guidance for exercise program priorities and those responsible for providing resources to support exercises;
• Representatives from relevant disciplines that would be part of the exercises or any real-world events, including appropriate regional or local Federal department/agency representatives;
• Individuals with administrative responsibility relevant to exercise conduct; and
• Representatives from volunteer, nongovernmental, nonprofit, or social support organizations, including advocates for children, seniors, individuals with disabilities, those with access and functional needs, racially and ethnically diverse communities, people with limited English proficiency, and animals. Once a comprehensive set of stakeholders has been identified, exercise program managers can include them in the exercise program by having them regularly participate in TEPWs.
The HSEEP 2013 Document:
This document serves as a description of HSEEP doctrine. It includes an overview of HSEEP fundamentals that describes core HSEEP principles and overall methodology. This overview is followed by several chapters that provide exercise practitioners with more detailed guidance on putting the program’s principles and methodology into practice.
The doctrine is organized as follows:
- Chapter 1: HSEEP Fundamentals describes the basic principles and methodology of HSEEP.
- Chapter 2: Exercise Program Management provides guidance for conducting a Training and Exercise
Planning Workshop (TEPW) and developing a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan (TEP). (Engage Elected and Appointed Officials: Engaging elected and appointed officials in the exercise process is critical because they provide both the strategic direction for the exercise program, as well as specific guidance for individual exercises. As representatives of the public, elected and appointed officials ensure that exercise program priorities are supported at the highest level and align to whole community needs and priorities. Elected and appointed officials should be engaged early and often in an exercise program, starting with the development of exercise program priorities at the TEPW. In developing individual exercises, the exercise planning team should continue to engage their appropriate elected and appointed officials throughout the exercise planning cycle in order to ensure the leaders vision for the exercise is achieved. Routine engagement with elected and appointed officials ensures that exercises have the support necessary for success.)
- Chapter 3: Exercise Design and Development describes the methodology for developing exercise objectives, conducting planning meetings, developing exercise documentation, and planning for exercise logistics, control, and evaluation.
- Chapter 4: Exercise Conduct provides guidance on setup, exercise play, and wrap-up activities.
- Chapter 5: Evaluation provides the approach to exercise evaluation planning and conduct through data collection, analysis, and development of an AAR.
- Chapter 6: Improvement Planning addresses corrective actions identified in the exercise IP and the process of tracking corrective actions to resolution. https://hseep.dhs.gov/support/HSEEP_Revision_Apr13_Final.pdf
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