Training, Drilling, and Exercising Toolkit

3.3 Full-Scale Exercises

Full-scale exercises are typically the most complex and resource-intensive type of exercise. They involve multiple agencies, organizations, and jurisdictions and validate many facets of preparedness. FSEs often include many players operating under cooperative systems such as the Incident Command System or Unified Command. Resources and staff are mobilized as needed. All actions are taken as if it were a real emergency. These are the most time-consuming activities in the exercise continuum and are multiagency, multijurisdictional efforts in which all resources are deployed.

Full-scale exercises test collaborations among the agencies and participants, public information systems, communication systems, and equipment. An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is established by either law enforcement or fire services, and the ICS is activated. Because of all the logistics and resources needed for a full-scale exercise, these often take a year to plan and are not held very often. Usually a school district is not the organizer of such an exercise, but the district or school would play a very critical role in both function and potential facility use.

To assist in selecting and/or developing your full-scale exercises, the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Toolbox provides a variety of sample exercises.

The link below is an excellent resource to use in developing your own unique emergency exercises using a 10-step guide.

Developing Exercises