In Addison County, we identify and prioritize training and exercises during an annual training and exercise workshop.
Emergency operations plans (EOP) must be “exercised” to make sure they are up-to-date and that everyone involved understands their role. Think of “exercising” in this context like “practicing.” Just like athletes practice specific skills that will be performed as needed in a game, responding agencies or organizations need to practice meeting capabilities that could be called on in an emergency event. Exercises are capabilities-driven rather than event-driven. Granted the scenario may be a train derailment, but the capabilities being exercised such as activating the emergency operations center, requesting a state resource such as the state HazMat (hazardous materials) team, and evacuating a school could apply to many other scenarios as well.