Home > Disaster Response, Training > Training Opportunity – Virtual Tabletop Exercise Series (VTTX) – Winter Storm Focus

Training Opportunity – Virtual Tabletop Exercise Series (VTTX) – Winter Storm Focus

Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA/EMI Course: V-0002 – Virtual Tabletop Exercise Series (VTTX) – Winter Storm Focus


Exercise Date & Location: October 22 and 23, 2013, Virtual Exercise – Multiple Locations  (Note: Two separate offerings to accommodate as many site applicants as possible; applicants should reserve both days initially; sites will be slated to a specific date 30 days prior to the event)


Exercise Length: 4 Hours. Start time is 12:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and end time is 4:00 P.M. EST.


Exercise Description: This exercise is the second in the fiscal year (FY 14) series of Virtual Tabletop Exercises (VTTX) that will be offered monthly by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). The VTTX involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting, and can be used to assess plans, policies, training, and procedures. This VTTX 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 Nation to simultaneously participate in a hazard-specific facilitated discussion. Lead facilitation for the exercise will be coordinated by EMI, 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. New to the VTTX program is the addition of an After-Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) template for completion by the participating organization.


Benefit to the Emergency Management Community: The VTTX is a pre-packaged set of exercise materials requiring reduced effort by participating organizations. The new/novel delivery method will allow participating communities to share real-time winter storm incident related preparation, response and recovery concerns, and solutions with all participants providing a unique environment for learning lessons and sharing information.


Exercise Goal:  This virtual exercise will enable the participants to exercise their knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively conduct all-hazards emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Overall goals include:


  • Prepare participants for a winter storm incident affecting their community.
  • Enable participants to better coordinate their response operations with counterparts from local governments, other State governments, Federal agencies, private sector organizations, and non-governmental agencies.
  • Leverage VTC technology to reach remote sites.
  • Provide a virtual, experiential education environment to exercise and enhance critical response and recovery tasks.

This delivery method will allow participating communities to share real-time winter storm focus incident related preparation, response, and recovery concerns and solutions with all participants.


Target Audience: The VTTX program is designed for a “community-based” group (not individual participation) of at least 12 or more personnel from local or state emergency management organizations with representation from all Emergency Management disciplines – public safety, public works, public health, health care, government, administrative, communications, military, private sector, non-governmental, and other whole community partners involved in a winter storm focus incident 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 campus, and will be complimented by a dedicated local agency facilitator at each VTC site.


The VTTX will be supported by an Exercise and Coordination Facilitation Guide, which will include all required logistical information (room layout, connection instructions, etc.), 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 the completion of the VTTX event.

Participation Requirements: The VTTX will be limited to approximately 10 locations per exercise. Participants must have an appropriate site equipped with VTC capability (not web-based) that can access the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) VTC site (connection information will be provided by EMI). Participating locations will be responsible for local exercise logistics, and should designate an exercise coordinator to implement the logistical requirements for the exercise. In addition, the location must provide a person capable of facilitating the on-site portion of exercise. Electronic copies of the related exercise materials (Exercise and Coordination Facilitation Guide, Situation Manual, agenda, etc.) will be provided in advance by EMI.


To Apply: Locations interested in participating in the VTTX series should submit an email request to participate in the exercise to Todd Wheeler at Todd.Wheeler@fema.dhs.gov, phone (301) 447-1101. Your email is your program application. When applying, please provide a central point of contact from your organization to work all VTTX issues. Each location will receive a notice from EMI and will be provided with relevant logistical information and exercise materials to set up and facilitate the exercise locally.


The deadline for applying to participate in the exercise is September 13, 2013.


VTTX Program Information: 


For a complete listing of all the FY14 VTTX dates and scenarios select here or email Todd Wheeler for a copy.


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