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Exercise Development

Exercise Development Procedures

The goal of IEMA's Exercise Program is to improve the overall organizational readiness in emergency planning and response. The program promotes the opportunity to shape planning, assess and validate capabilities, and address areas for improvement. FEMA’s Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) helps provide the guiding principles for exercise and evaluation programs, as well as a common approach to exercise program management, design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.

All exercises must be planned and conducted in accordance with HSEEP and in compliance with the National Incident Management System, Illinois Emergency Operations Plan, Illinois Disaster Management System, and all applicable Homeland Security Presidential Directives and Policies. Exercises must also include a written After-Action Report (AAR) and Corrective Action/Improvement Plan consistent with the guidelines outlined in HSEEP, which is submitted to the county where the municipality resides.

IEMA 29 Illinois Administrative Code 301 (Subpart D) provides the requirements your organization must conduct for the number of exercises and approval processes to potentially receive real-world exercise credit. The following documents will provide a guideline for exercise planning teams to help achieve these requirements.

Breakdown of Requirements
Breakdown of Requirements

Below is a breakdown of discussion vs operations based exercises and the requirements needed to fit within certain time frame.  Some of the forms mentioned are linked further down the page for convenience.

Discussion based exercises need to have a development time of 3 to 6 months.  The recommended number of objectives for a table top are 3 to 5 objectives.

Types of Exercises Implementation Of Required and Recommended Forms
Seminars:
  • Plan orientation
  • Access capabilities
Jurisdiction:
  • Plans, policies, & procedures
Inter-Jurisdiction: 
  • Agreements & understandings
Participants: 
  • Facilitators
  • Moderators
  • Evaluators
  • Stakeholders/Senior Leadership
Required Forms:
  • Exercise request form
  • Participant feedback form
  • AAR/IP
Recommended Forms:
  • Situation manual (Sitman)
  • Facilitator guide
  • Multimedia presentation
  • Master task List
 Workshops:
  • Analyze requirements
  • Develop product
Jurisdiction:
  • Plans, policies, & procedures
Inter-Jurisdiction: 
  • Agreements & understandings
Participants: 
  • Facilitators
  • Moderators
  • Evaluators
  • Stakeholders/Senior Leadership
Required Forms:
  • Exercise request form
  • Participant feedback form
  • AAR/IP
Recommended Forms:
  • Situation manual (Sitman)
  • Facilitator guide
  • Multimedia presentation
  • Master task list
Tabletop (TTX)
  •  Rehearsal
  • Assess plans
Jurisdiction:
  • Plans, policies, & procedures
Inter-Jurisdiction: 
  • Agreements & understandings
Participants: 
  • Facilitators
  • Moderators
  • Evaluators
  • Stakeholders/Senior Leadership
Required Forms:
  • Exercise request form
  • Situation manual (Sitman)
  • Facilitator guide
  • Multimedia Presentation
  • Participant feedback form
  • AAR/IP
Recommended Forms:
  • Master task list
Games
  • Collaboration
  • Validate plans
  • Explore consequences                                      
Jurisdiction:
  • Plans, policies, & procedures
Inter-Jurisdiction: 
  • Agreements & understandings
Participants: 
  • Facilitators
  • Moderators
  • Evaluators
  • Stakeholders/Senior Leadership
Required Forms:
  • Exercise request form
  • Situation manual (Sitman)
  • Facilitator guide
  • Multimedia Presentation
  • Participant feedback form
  • AAR/IP
Recommended Forms:
  • Master task list


Operations based exercises need to have a development time of 6 to 8 months when they are functional.  These exercises should have 5-7 objectives.  Should the exercise be a full scale exercise allow 8+ months for development time and include 8+ objectives.

Types of Exercises Implementation Of Required and Recommended Forms
Drills:
  • Single agency
  • Provides training and skills reinforcement 
  • Validates procedures
Jurisdiction:
  • Plans, policies, & procedures
Inter-Jurisdiction: 
  • Agreements & understandings
Participants: 
  • Controllers
  • Evaluators
  • Actors
  • Players
  • Observers/VIPs
Required Forms:
  • Exercise request form
  • Exercise Plan (ExPlan)
  • Controller & evaluator handbook
  • Master Scenario Events List (MSEL)
  • Exercise Evaluation Guides (EEGs)
  • Participant feedback form
  • AAR/IP
Recommended Forms:
  • Waiver forms
  • Weapons and safety policy
Functional Exercises:
  •  Validates/evaluates capabilities
  • Command, control and coordination of functions
Jurisdiction:
  •  Plans, policies, & procedures
Inter-Jurisdiction:
  • Agreements & understandings
Participants:
  • Controllers
  • Evaluators
  • Actors
  • Players
  • Observers/VIPs
Required Forms:
  • Exercise request form
  • Exercise plan (ExPlan)
  • Controller & evaluator handbook
  • Master Scenario Events List (MSEL)
  • Exercise Evaluation Guides (EEGs)
  • Participant feedback form
  • AAR/IP
Recommended Forms:
  • Waiver forms
  • Weapons and safety policy
 Full Scale Exercises:
  • Complex real time response
  • Multi-agency cooperation (ICS) 
Jurisdiction:
  • Plans, policies, & procedures
Inter-Jurisdiction: 
  • Agreements & understandings
Participants: 
  • Controllers
  • Evaluators
  • Actors
  • Players
  • Observers/VIPs
Required Forms:
  • Exercise request form
  • Exercise Plan (ExPlan)
  • Controller & evaluator handbook
  • Master Scenario Events List (MSEL)
  • Exercise Evaluation Guides (EEGs)
  • Participant feedback form
  • AAR/IP
Recommended Forms:
  • Waiver forms
  • Weapons and safety policy
Exercise Documents
Exercise Documents

Below is a list of documents that are either needed or will assist with the completion of needed documents. 

For example, the FEMA Core Capability Development Sheet may provide insight when drafting your objectives, review the Capability Targets sub header within the core capabilities being tested. 

The public FEMA Prep Toolkit for Resources and HSEEP may provide additional assistance.

Exercise Contact
Exercise Contact

If you have questions or need to submit forms to DuPage County, please reach out to:

Matt Bryan
Matthew.bryan@dupagecounty.gov
630-407-2938

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