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Customize a Tabletop Exercise

The exercises contained on this CD have been developed to be applicable to a broad, national audience at the local, state, and federal level. As such, the scenarios have been designed to contain as many agency roles as possible in realistic, simulated incidents that are relevant in a post-9/11 world, but do not contain any specific details regarding any locality, state, or region. To accomplish this, the tabletop exercises included on this CD are set in fictional Zenith City. It is possible that a trainer or user of this CD may wish to change certain aspects of the enclosed scenarios, add to the scenarios, or "borrow" the structure of a scenario to create a unique exercise that can account for individual utility, local, state, or regional policies and practices. "Customizing" the scenarios is highly encouraged. Utilities may desire to adapt a scenario and its materials for their actual city, while keeping sensitive information protected as necessary. Original, editable source files are provided to the user with each scenario just for this purpose. You can also use your own water distribution maps and town or city road maps to replace the Zenith City maps included on this CD.

The following steps will serve as a guide for "customizing" scenarios:

1. Determine which aspect of a utility, local, state or regional emergency response plan you wish to test.

2. Determine what type of incident scenario will best test that aspect of the utility, local, state or regional emergency response plan.

3. Determine whether a "simple" or "enhanced" tabletop exercise will be best based on available resources and time. Remember, an enhanced exercise is more realistic, but it is also more resource and time intensive in terms of preparation. More materials need to be prepared, an appropriate training site located, and many individuals from various agencies will need to be invited to attend in order to maximize exercise benefits. The "simple" tabletop exercise requires less preparation time but may actually take more time to conduct since no time pressure is placed on the participants during the exercise.

4. Determine your exercise objectives (what you wish to accomplish during the exercise) as a team and what individuals or agencies or individual and agency roles should either attend or be represented in the exercise to help accomplish those objectives.

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