Students in VCU’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP) program consider their response to a community “disaster” in a daylong tabletop exercise on Nov. Associate Professor William Parrish (center) played the role of the governor in the exercise and received an update on decisions made by the 20 student participants in responding to the “crisis.” Modeling and simulation software by L-3 Communications Services Group, a communications and surveillance products and services company, helped the students manage regional emergency response assets as they established police road blocks, coordinated evacuations and directed fire and EMS response.
The same approach was used in the second portion of the Tabletop Exercise which focused on activating the COOP plan.
The responders in Newark were for the most part cordial made effort to take the simulation seriously; but it was noted that there were flaws in the design and execution of the exercise as a whole. Tabletop Exercise - Involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting to assess plans, policies and procedures. Functional Exercise - A single or multi-agency activity designed to evaluate capabilities and multiple functions using a simulated response. Full-Scale Exercise - A multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, multi-discipline response to a simulated incident which involves a real time response to simulated but realistic conditions. HSEEP reflects lessons learned and best practices of existing exercise programs and can be adapted to a variety of scenarios and events based on local or regional threats, risks and vulnerabilities. The exercise was the culmination on a lot of hard work which centered on drafting documents, planning and executing, to ensure that the exercise was seamless. Under the supervision of the Lead Controller, the Safety Personnel and Controllers, volunteers were directed to make the scene be realistic for the responding agencies, a feature that added an element of realism to the exercise that the responders appreciated. The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is a national standard for all DHS funded exercises and is a capabilities and performance-based exercise program that provides a standardized methodology and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.
The hard work and attention to detail resulted in a successful exercise which left fellow students and professors very impressed. The Coalition provides HSEEP certified subject matter experts to design and coordinate exercises, pinpoint areas of success and those in need of improvement, provide positive feedback to your organization, and help develop training programs based upon highlighted needs. They offer expert guidance for exercises from the basic to the most complex all based on your potential vulnerabilities. Professor Matthew Khaled who is serving as the Constructive Action (CA) professor for the Purpose 4 students, along with Director Ali Gheith who served as the Exercise Director played important roles in making the exercise achieve its objectives.
Mwitango Rose Shelukindo, Tanzania’s Ministry of Defense and National Service deputy permanent secretary, addresses the audience on opening day of Tanzania’s disaster preparedness exercise, conducted in Bagamoyo, February 3-7.
Nyanchege Nani, Tanzania Office of Disaster Management’s Assistant Director of Operations and Coordination, addresses participants of the government’s disaster preparedness exercise.
Representatives from the United Republic of Tanzania's government and military gathered for the five-day United Republic of Tanzania Disaster Preparedness Exercise held in Bagamoyo from 3-7 February. The Government of Benin unveiled its final draft of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan, and the Military Support to Civil Authorities (MSCA) Disaster Contingency Plan during a ceremony held in Cotonou, Benin, March 17, 2014.


A BCP table top exercise is an informal brainstorming session used to encourage participation from business leaders and other key employees. After this successful meeting, we thought it would be valuable to share some insights on the BCP table top exercise process with our readers to spotlight the importance of this activity.
NDPCI HSEEP - Training, Exercise and Evaluation ServicesThe National Domestic Preparedness Coalition’s leadership and personnel consist of emergency responders who have participated in real world incidents including natural disaster and terrorism, and who have developed and managed large scale exercises for both large and small jurisdictions, agencies and organizations throughout the United States. This came in the form of a Tabletop Exercise which involved students from other purposes contributing. Our unique background and capabilities allow us to provide both exercise experience and operational knowledge due to the wide range of capabilities our SMEs possess. It was however clear that a lot of planning went into making the exercise a reality, and that responding agencies are continuously pushing themselves to protect the City.
Once completed, observations and recommendations will be forwarded to the Exercise Planners.
Our background in Threat, Risk, and Vulnerability Assessment Training across the US, as well as our Operational training has placed us in a unique position to work with local agencies as part of the HSEEP exercise process based on a combination of their Assessments and Plans that they have developed to address local needs for preparedness. Students in attendance were very engaged and found that the exercise made them consider aspects of response they would not have considered under different circumstances. Mitchell believes that in order to be resilient entities need to plan, train, exercise and drill. Africa Command Humanitarian and Health Activities chief, welcomes participants to the Tanzania disaster preparedness exercise. Sylvester Rioba, Director of Tanzania’s Office of Disaster Management (left) and his deputy, Nyanchege Nani, greet each other upon arrival to day one of Tanzania’s Disaster Preparedness Exercise, conducted in Bagamoyo, Feb.
To this end, Lisa Smith - one of our certified business continuity professionals - and her team recently conducted a BCP table top exercise with our management team here at Eze Castle. The exercise tested their ability to coordinate a response in the areas of emergency management, intelligence fusion, firefighting, external affairs, public safety, and public health and medical resources.
Our exercises are custom designed and developed based upon specific threats to your jurisdiction, agency or organization utilizing the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) guidelines published by the U.S. Though prevented from using Resorts World Casino as the site in this Tabletop Exercise, the scenario which was used incorporated many elements and approaches included in the final products for this client. Make-up artists were on site and did a great job of moulaging the victims prior to the exercise.
Drafting the After Action Report (AAR) is next on the agenda for the Purpose Four Students as the lessons learned can be passed on to other students to ensure that exercises of this nature can continue to get better.
Uzoamaka Odimegwu Mbakwem, East Region International Heath specialist from USAFRICOM, discusses the details of the morning tabletop exercise with (from left to right) Alex Choya, Wildlife Research Coordination Ministry of National Resource and Tourism of Tanzania, Prof.


Africa Command Humanitarian and Health Activities chief, hear opening remarks for an exercise meant to validate new disaster response and pandemic contingency plans to support and assist the people of Tanzania.
BCP table top exercises are conducted to provide an example of how the management team would work together to get the organization through a disaster. HSEEP uses established best practices and helps provide unity and consistency of effort for exercises at all levels of government. The simulated exercise not only tested the preparedness of agencies tasked with responding to such events, but also contributed to students gaining valuable insights into how response and coordination go hand-in-hand. Our SMEs have an extensive background in training, testing, exercising, and evaluation using a multi-discipline approach. The exercise, conducted in Bagamoyo, February 3-7, brought together civic, government and health organizations from several African countries, along with experts from the U.S. Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM) director (front row far left). NDPCI is a proud provider of Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) related exercises. For emergency managers the true depth of specifics in planning a training and exercise event was more appreciated. Faraja Lutuia Msemwa, medical officer Emergency Preparedness and Response of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania, Dr. HSEEP Exercises allow responders and emergency management personnel to train and practice prevention, protection, response, and recovery capabilities in a realistic but risk-free environment.
Mary Kitambi, principal medical officer of Emergency Preparedness and Response Section of Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania and (standing) Dr. Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM), hosts civic, government and health organizations from several African countries in an effort to validate Tanzania’s new national pandemic preparedness and response plan, the Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) pandemic contingency plan, TPDF Tanzania civilian authorities plan and to increase awareness of disaster preparedness and response challenges. Several US agencies by invitation of the United Republic of Tanzania gather with civic, government and health organizations from several African countries for a five-day event called the United Republic of Tanzania Disaster Preparedness Exercise held at Bagamoyo, Tanzania.
The exercise is meant to validate the new national pandemic preparedness and response plan, the Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) pandemic contingency plan, TPDF Tanzania civilian authorities plan and to increase awareness of disaster preparedness and response challenges. The government of the United Republic of Tanzania hosted the event organized by United States Africa Command, which is supported by the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine. The team’s goal is to assist the government of Tanzania to validate the new national pandemic preparedness and response plan, the Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) pandemic contingency plan, TPDF Tanzania civilian authorities plan and to increase awareness of disaster preparedness and response challenges.



Be prepared hoodwinked
Sample fire evacuation plan for homes


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