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Click here if you would like to conduct a simple Tabletop Exercise

Click here if you would like to conduct an enhanced Tabletop Exercise

Select Your Exercise

From this page, you will select the kind or type of exercise you would like to conduct. A simple tabletop exercise is a facilitated analysis of an emergency situation in an informal, stress-free environment. It is designed to elicit constructive discussion as participants examine and resolve problems based on existing operational plans and identify where those plans need to be refined. The success of the exercise is largely determined by group participation in the identification of problem areas. There is minimal attempt at simulation in a tabletop exercise. Equipment is not used, resources are not deployed, and time pressures are not introduced. This is the simplest type of exercise to conduct in terms of planning, preparation, and coordination.

An enhanced tabletop exercise is a simulated interactive exercise that helps to test the capability of an organization to respond to a simulated event. The exercise tests multiple functions of an organization’s operational plan. It is a coordinated response to a situation in a time-pressured, realistic simulation that involves several agencies. An enhanced tabletop exercise focuses on the coordination, integration, and interaction of an organization’s policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities before, during, or after the simulated event. It places heavy emphasis on communication between all the agencies participating in the exercise. This type of exercise will require much more planning, preparation, and coordination than a simple tabletop exercise. To a large extent, the value and benefit of an enhanced tabletop exercise comes from bringing representatives from all of the agency roles in the exercise together to participate in the exercise. It is still possible to run an enhanced tabletop exercise without representatives present from all the agency roles. If possible, you can fill these roles with individuals that are familiar with the mission of the agency that is missing. Note during your after action review that actions taken by the missing agency may have been different than those taken by the "stand-ins" during the course of the exercise.