Environmental, Health, and Safety departments have regulatory requirements to schedule, coordinate, and document response exercises to satisfy industry-specific regulations. In preparation for these exercises, companies should develop exercise planning documents, including participants' and controllers' packages that contain exercise objectives, scenarios, ground rules, and simulation scripts. These guidelines should be provided to all participants prior to the exercise.
Common tabletop exercise objectives
1. Practice application of National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS):
- The Incident Management Team (IMT) should demonstrate a proficiency in utilizing the forms, processes, and terminology of the ICS to respond to the scenario.
2. Demonstrate a functional understanding of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Incident Management Team (IMT) organizations.
- The ERT and the IMT should have a clear understanding of their specific roles and responsibilities. Gaps in training should be identified and follow-up action taken to ensure that these gaps are addressed.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the Unified Common organization(s), and general responsibilities and expectation of the company.
- The ERT and IMT should have a clear understanding of the capabilities of each outside responding organization. Communication processes, response methods, roles and responsibilities, and available equipment should be identified and confirmed. for the applicable scenario.
4. Demonstrate the ability to document and communicate actions, management decision, and track resources, using standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms and the Emergency response Plan (ERP).
- Participants should record processes and implemented procedures per regulatory requirement and company standards. Documentation can be used for response assessments, team reviews, and to create action items to improve follow-up and the emergency response plan.
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