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Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM)

Virtual Tabletop Exercise Series (VTTX) Guidance

VTTX Application

Exercise Description:

Texas will administer two Virtual Tabletop Exercises (VTTX) programs in 2014, the established national EMI program and the Texas Virtual Tabletop Series (TX-VTTX) program.  The VTTX series will be offered monthly by EMI and select months for the TX-VTTX by TDEM.  A VTTX involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting, and can be used to assess plans, policies, training and procedures.  It differs from other Tabletop exercises in that it will be conducted using Video-Teleconference (VTC) technology (not web based), and is intended to provide an opportunity for responders across the state and the nation to simultaneously participate in a hazard-specific facilitated discussion.  Lead facilitation for the exercise will be coordinated by EMI and TDEM respectively, with local facilitation provided by the participating agency.  This format will allow the common delivery of exercise materials, scenarios, modules and discussion questions among those participating in the exercise.

Benefit to the Emergency Management Community:

The VTTX is a pre-packaged set of exercise materials requiring reduced effort by participating organizations.  This delivery method will allow participating communities to share real-time all-hazards preparation, response and recovery concerns, and solutions with all participants providing a unique environment for learning lessons and sharing information.

Exercise Goal:

The virtual exercise series will enable the participants to exercise their knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively conduct all-hazards emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Overall goals include:

1.) Prepare participants for hazards affecting their community.

2.) Enable participants to better coordinate their response operations with counterparts from local governments, State and Federal agencies, private sector organizations, and nongovernmental agencies.

3.) Leverage VTC technology to reach remote sites.

4.) Provide a virtual, experiential education environment to exercise and enhance critical response and recovery tasks.

Exercise Length:

VTTX – 4 Hours. Start time is 11 a.m. CST and end time is 3:00 p.m. CST

TX-VTTX – 4 Hours. Start time is 8 a.m. CST and end time is 12:00 p.m. CST

Participating jurisdictions should allow extra time for orientation and introductions.

Target Audience:

The VTTX is designed for a “whole community based” group, typically consisting of 12-20 personnel, representing multiple disciplines from the Emergency Management Enterprise.  It can also be expanded to include Federal, State, and local emergency management, public safety, public works, public health, health care, government administrative, communications, military, private sector, non-governmental, and other whole community partners involved in all hazards response and recovery.

Exercise Design:

This VTTX is designed to engage the participants in a no fault, hazard-specific exercise discussion. The lead facilitation will occur via VTC from the EMI or TDEM campus, and will be complimented by local agency facilitators at each VTC site.

The VTTX will be supported by an Exercise and Coordination Facilitation Guide, which will include all required logistical information, as well as facilitation and hot wash instructions.

The VTTX will consist of:

·         A hazard awareness briefing on the scenario hazard.

·         Three discussion modules presented by the EMI facilitator.

·         Local discussion with guided questions facilitated by an on-site facilitator.

·         Brief-outs from each participating location after each module.

·         Hot wash conducted at each location after the VTC has ended.

·         AAR/IP submission by the participating organization no later than 30 days from completion of the VTTX event.  This is not a requirement for the TX-VTTX offerings, but highly encouraged for EMPG jurisdictions.

 

Participation Requirements:

The VTTX will be limited to approximately 10 locations nationwide per exercise (5 for the TX-VTTX).  Participants must have an appropriate site equipped with VTC capability that can access the FEMA/TDEM VTC site (connection information will be provided).  Participating locations will be responsible for local exercise logistics, and should designate an exercise coordinator to implement the logistical requirements for the exercise.  The location must provide a person capable of facilitating the on-site portion of exercise.  Electronic copies of the related exercise materials (SitMan, slides, etc.) will be provided in advance by TDEM.

To Apply:

Locations interested in participating in the VTTX series should submit a TDEM VTTX Application to the TDEM Exercise Unit at TDEM.Exercises@dps.texas.gov.   Applications must be submitted no later than 45 days prior to exercise conduct to be considered.  TDEM will vet applications based on the local threat, scenario, and VTTX history.  If selected, TDEM will make contact approximately 15 days prior to conduct for technical assistance and connectivity checks.

VTTX Schedule:

Series

Scenario

FY14

V-0001

Earthquake

18-Sep-13

V-0002

Winter Storm

23-Oct-13

V-0021

Winter Storm Select Agent Release

6-Nov-13

V-0013

COOP

20-Nov-13

V-0014

Prison Riot

18-Dec-13

V-0005

Tornado

22-Jan-14

V-0006

Wildland Fire

19-Feb-14

V-0022

Chemical 

26-Feb-14

V-0007

Flood

19-Mar-14

V-0015

Cyber

16-Apr-14

V-0009

Hurricane

 

Rescheduled due to conflict with the

2014 Emergency Management Conference

14 May 14

 

7-May-14

New Date

V-0023

Pandemic Flu

21-May-14

V-0016

Aircraft Crash

18-Jun-14

V-0017

Stadium / Arena Scenario

23-Jul-14

V-0018

School Hostage

20-Aug-14

V-0024

Radiological Dispersal Device 

3-Sep-14

V-0019

Radiological Dispersal Device

17-Sep-14

V-0020

High-Rise Fire

24-Sep-14

 

Texas Only

 

 

Public Health

 

 

 

Seperator

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