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Customize a Tabletop Exercise
5. You can alter or change the exercises on this CD to suit your
purposes by accessing the source files included for each exercise on this
CD. These files are in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Feel free to
edit these source files to make the exercises more applicable to your
local or regional setting (if you do not own some of these software
packages, you will not be able to edit certain source files). 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. In the "simple" tabletop
exercises, feel free to omit "injects" as necessary due to time
constraints or to help simplify the exercise or ensuing discussions. In
addition, you may use the structure of any of the exercises as a model or
road map to create your own "simple" or "enhanced" tabletop exercise
Example: Let’s say that in your enhanced tabletop exercise you expected the water or wastewater utility to notify the police of a certain event that occurred during the course of the exercise; however, the utility did not make the expected notification. A well-timed “leak” to the media, represented by a “media alert” inject read to all participants, would effectively notify the police that an event has occurred at the water or wastewater utility and keep the exercise on track.
If you are developing a simple tabletop exercise, this process is
very streamlined as you will be able to control the participants’
discussion during the course of the exercise. Therefore, you will not have
to be too concerned with unexpected participant reactions and you will be
able to move smoothly from inject to inject.
The remaining steps apply to the development of enhanced tabletop exercises:
6. If you are developing an enhanced tabletop exercise, draw up
your floor plan. A sample floor plan is provided in the exercise
materials. The floor plan will help you to visualize the individual and
agency roles you will have represented during the exercise. This will also
give you an idea of the minimum amount of people you will need to run the
exercise effectively. As a general rule, each table or role should have a
minimum of two people. This allows discussion to take place within a table
or role prior to decisions being made. Don’t forget that as a controller
you will be representing the control, probably the media (see #9 below),
and potentially the lab role within an exercise.