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Public Health Preparedness Exercises (Basics of Public Health Preparedness, Module 3)

Length: 45 minutes
Description:This module provides a broad overview of public health exercise planning with a focus on the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). It includes information about how to plan and conduct an exercise, prepare important documentation, and use evaluation results for improvement planning, as well as providing resources and tips for conducting successful exercises.
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This training was developed with the support of the UNC Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (UNC PERLC), a funded project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Cooperative Agreement 1U90TP000415). The UNC PERLC gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the West Virginia Center for Threat Preparedness and the North Carolina Public Health Preparedness and Response Branch in shaping the content and framework for this training.

Learning Objectives

Training Personnel


Kasey Decosimo, MPH


Rachel Wilfert, MD, MPH, CPH

NCIPH Reviewer:

Allison George, MPH, MCHES

Subject Matter Expert Reviewers:

Susan Sullivan, RN-BC, MS, Public Health Nurse Consultant, Training/Exercise Facilitator, Public Health Preparedness and Response Branch Central Regional Office, North Carolina Division of Public Health

Michelle Rich, BS, RHEd, Program Consultant, Public Health Preparedness and Response Branch Western Regional Office, North Carolina Division of Public Health

The author(s) and reviewer(s) of this training have no personal financial relationships with commercial interests relevant to this presentation to disclose. Author, narrator, reviewer affiliations listed were current at the time of training development.

Competencies and Capability Functions Addressed

This training addresses selected applied epidemiology, core public health, and public health preparedness and response competencies and public health preparedness capability functions. (Please note: The competencies included on this site are just a few of the public health competencies which have been established. Training participants may find alignment between this training and other competency sets not included on this site.)

Public Health Preparedness Capabilities
Capability 3, Function 4: Manage and sustain the public health response
Capability 3, Function 5: Demobilize and evaluate public health emergency operations
Public Health Preparedness & Response Core Competencies
3.2. Contribute expertise to the development of emergency plans.
3.3. Participate in improving the organization's capacities (including, but not limited to programs, plans, policies, laws, and workforce training).


Federal Emergency Management Agency. IS-120a. An Introduction to Exercises [online course]. Retrieved from: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS120A.asp

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Public Health Preparedness: Mobilizing State by State, a CDC Report on the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement. Retrieved from: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/publications/feb08phprep/pdf/feb08phprep.pdf

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2007). Conducting exercises for preparedness. Public Health Emergency Response: A guide for leaders and responders. Retrieved from: http://www.phe.gov/emergency/communication/guides/leaders/Documents/freo_section09.pdf

Mast, C. (2008). Developing exercise objectives. [PowerPoint]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Retrieved from: http://www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/SNS/upload/Microsoft-PowerPoint-Developing-SNS-Exercise-objectives-using-TAR-2.pdf

Kansas Department of Health and Environment. HSEEP Evaluation Guide: Epidemiological and Surveillance Investigation. Retrieved from: http://www.kdhe-exercises.org/hseep_templates.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Public health preparedness capabilities: national standards for state and local planning. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/capabilities/Capabilities_March_2011.pdf

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Homeland security exercise and evaluation program (HSEEP): Volumes I-III. February 2007. https://hseep.dhs.gov. Accessed March 31, 2012.