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Build organizational resilience with drills and exercises

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Prepare like the best

A common attribute of Best in Resilience™ certified organizations is that they regularly test and improve how they manage critical events. For example, many certified organizations establish requirements for monthly or quarterly communication drills and host several tabletop exercises per year.
The Best in Resilience™ program provides an organizational assessment that certifies organizations based on numerous competencies that contribute to organizational resilience. In addition to participating in the certification assessment, organizations can work with Everbridge CEM experts to design and conduct drills and exercises and develop after-action improvement plans.

Why conduct drills and exercises?

Organizations conduct drills and exercises to test, validate and demonstrate their ability to manage critical events. Delivered in a low-stress environment, drills and exercises provide an opportunity to simulate response and recovery in a safe, no-fault environment, and identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.

“Without exercises, it’s difficult to know if your plans or tools will be deployed effectively when it matters most,” explains James Podlucky, Solutions Manager at Everbridge. Mr. Podlucky is a Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He continues, “Exercises allow you to rehearse how the organization would respond to real-world threats, but in a controlled environment. It is an excellent way to build relationships and team chemistry with those you depend on when critical events occur.”

According to crisis management expert Regina Phelps, exercises are a “golden opportunity” to:

  • Promote your program
  • Educate your teams
  • Validate your plans
  • Engage senior leadership

Designing training exercises: Best practices and tips with Regina Phelps

Types of drills and exercises

There are different types of drills and exercises that can help organizations prepare for all types of events. Below is a description of the most common types.

Discussion-based exercises

  • Tabletop exercises: A facilitated scenario-based discussion that helps assess preparedness for that event, and identify opportunities to improve policies, plans, procedures, training, tools, staffing, equipment and technologies.
  • Simulation: A presentation to demonstrate how new tools and capabilities will be used to help manage a critical event.

Operations-based exercises

  • Drills: A test of a single function—such as a communications test, active shooter drill, or evacuation drill—and is typically short in duration.
  • Functional exercises: A coordinated test of multiple functions conducted in coordination with key leaders across the enterprise, and typically requires leaders to make decisions and/or take action.
  • Full-scale exercises: A coordinated test of multiple functions with key leaders and field personnel across the enterprise, and typically requires all participants to make decision and/or take action. This type of exercise may require significant movement of assets and deployment of resources.

How we help

Everbridge is the leader in Critical Event Management (CEM) and employs the CEM Standards Framework™ to design and conduct exercises and identify opportunities for improvement. Over the past few years, Everbridge Professional Services has delivered over 500,000 hours of consulting services, which includes supporting the most resilient organizations in the world.

Partner with us to design and conduct exercises if you’d like to…

  • Leverage CEM expertise of Everbridge consultants
  • Incorporate CEM capabilities into your drills and exercises
  • Assure you meet organizational and industry requirements
  • Understand how your organization compares to Best in Resilience™ certified organizations

Contact us at to learn more, or schedule an appointment here.

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 Everbridge CEM experts facilitate scenario-based discussion with exercise participants.

In March of 2023, Everbridge hosted a Best in Resilience™ Tabletop Exercise with 9 groups of 8-10 participants, and feedback is highlighted in the section above.

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