Emergency Management Exercises: Not for the Inexperienced

Many think exercise design is easy.  I’ve seen agencies relegate it to interns and new staff with little supervision, or even performed by seasoned emergency managers with little concept of what the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is.  Sadly, we have people completing HSEEP training and even FEMA’s Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) program, … Continue reading Emergency Management Exercises: Not for the Inexperienced

Use of Pre-Developed Exercises – Proceed with Caution

I was recently asked by a client about my thoughts on pre-developed or ‘canned’ exercises.  As it turns out, I have a lot of feelings about them, most of them negative.  Pre-developed exercises, if properly understood and applied, can be a huge help, but the big problem is that we’re dealing with human nature, and … Continue reading Use of Pre-Developed Exercises – Proceed with Caution

Preparedness Exercises – The Building Block Concept Can Be Misleading

If you’ve been doing emergency management and homeland security exercises for even a little while, you are probably familiar with this graphic.  It’s included in a great many exercise training courses and other materials that talk about the different types of exercises out there.  This graphic looks correct at first glance.  It seems to make … Continue reading Preparedness Exercises – The Building Block Concept Can Be Misleading

Gauging Return on Investment in Preparedness: Exercises

In this last article of the Return on Investment series, I’ll be discussing the investments and benefits of preparedness exercises to help organizations determine their return on investment – or ROI.  The series has followed the model of the five POETE elements (Planning, Organizing, Equipping, Training, Exercising).  The inspiration for the series was a piece … Continue reading Gauging Return on Investment in Preparedness: Exercises

Incorporating Social Media Into Your Exercises

Incorporating Social Media Into Your Exercises, a post within the idisaster.wordpress.com blog. This blog was first brought to my attention through the most recent DHS Capacity Building Webinar Series episode called Innovating with Disaster Drills and Exercises (also available on iTunes, which is how I usually listen to them).  The blog’s primary writer, Kim Stephens, … Continue reading Incorporating Social Media Into Your Exercises

Are You Inviting the Right People to Your Exercises?

A couple of days ago I started reading Rumsfeld’s Rules – Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life.  Hopefully you have some familiarity with Donald Rumsfeld – the man was a naval aviator, US Congressman, aide to four US presidents, corporate CEO, and is the only person to ever serve as Secretary of Defense … Continue reading Are You Inviting the Right People to Your Exercises?

Using Layered Exercises to Add Value to an Exercise Initiative

Over the last several years, I have had the opportunity, and the pleasure, to lead and participate in some very significant exercises. For some of these larger exercises (mostly functional) we were more interested in testing objectives associated with activities which would occur 72 or 96 hours into the incident (i.e. well after the initial … Continue reading Using Layered Exercises to Add Value to an Exercise Initiative

Metrics and Data Analytics in Emergency Management

I’ve lately seen some bad takes on data analytics in emergency management. For those not completely familiar, data analytics is a broad-based term applied to all manner of data organization, manipulation, and modeling to bring out the most valuable perspectives, insights, and conclusions which can better inform decision-making. Obviously, this can be something quite useful … Continue reading Metrics and Data Analytics in Emergency Management