Training, Drilling, and Exercising Toolkit

3.2 Functional Exercises

Functional exercises are designed to validate and evaluate capabilities, multiple functions and/or sub-functions, or interdependent groups of functions. Functional exercises are typically focused on exercising plans, policies, procedures, and staff members involved in management, direction, command, and control functions. They allow participants to practice their specific roles or functions in an emergency situation. This type of exercise is conducted in a realistic, real-time simulated environment and often utilizes simulators (individuals that assist with the facilitation of the exercise) and follows a master scenario events list that dictates additional information, occurrences, or activities that affect the exercise scenario.

In a functional exercise, participants react to realistic simulated events (e.g., a bomb threat or an intruder with a gun in a classroom) and implement the emergency response plan and procedures using the ICS. Even in a functional exercise, movement of personnel and equipment may be simulated.

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

REMS Toolbox

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

Developing Exercises