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Exercise Program

Program Purpose

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) coordinates exercises tailored for public health emergency response. These exercises are designed to enhance the capacity of the health and medical systems to respond and recover safely from catastrophic health emergencies which could include incidents of terrorism, pandemic outbreaks, a large scale evacuation and even hospitals experiencing surge capacity.  This program not only benefits our local public health infrastructure but also provides opportunities for our partners to participate and exercise their response components.
All OSDH exercises are documented on the federal National Exercise Schedule System (NEXS) website in-line with HSEEP requirements.

Program Vision

OSDH will coordinate and lead local, regional and statewide exercises focused on a public health response.  Regional teams will be available to provide guidance on improving the overall health response through training and exercise following the federal HSEEP guidelines.

What is HSEEP?

The Department of Homeland Security created an exercise and evaluation program for all training and exercises conducted by agencies receiving federal support.  It stands for Homeland Security Evaluation and Exercise Program (HSEEP). 

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Types of Exercises:

There are seven types of exercises defined within HSEEP, each of which is either discussion-based or operations-based.

Discussion-based Exercises familiarize participants with current plans, policies, agreements and procedures, or may be used to develop new plans, policies, agreements and procedures. Types of Discussion-based Exercises include:

  • Seminar. A seminar is an informal discussion, designed to orient participants to new or updated plans, policies, or procedures (e.g., a seminar to review a new Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure).
  • Workshop. A workshop resembles a seminar, but is employed to build specific products, such as a draft plan or policy (e.g., a Training and Exercise Plan Workshop is used to develop a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan).
  • Tabletop Exercise (TTX). A tabletop exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. TTXs can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures.
  • Games. A game is a simulation of operations that often involves two or more teams, usually in a competitive environment, using rules, data, and procedure designed to depict an actual or assumed real-life situation.

Operations-based Exercises validate plans, policies, agreements and procedures, clarify roles and responsibilities, and identify resource gaps in an operational environment. Types of Operations-based Exercises include:

  • Drill. A drill is a coordinated, supervised activity usually employed to test a single, specific operation or function within a single entity (e.g., a fire department conducts a decontamination drill).
  • Functional Exercise (FE). A functional exercise examines and/or validates the coordination, command, and control between various multi-agency coordination centers (e.g., emergency operation center, joint field office, etc.). A functional exercise does not involve any "boots on the ground" (e.g., first responders or emergency officials responding to an incident in real time).
  • Full-Scale Exercises (FSE). A full-scale exercise is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, multi-discipline exercise involving functional (e.g., joint field office, emergency operation centers, etc.) and "boots on the ground" response (e.g., firefighters decontaminating mock victims).

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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is MIPS?
A: The Mass Immunization/Prophylaxis Strategy (MIPS) is a public health effort to prevent widespread disease by providing medication to the public.

Q: What is CRI?
A: The Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a CDC concept where large cities and metropolitan areas across the nation become better prepared for an anthrax attack which would require dispensing medication to the entire population in 48 hours or less.

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