Functional Exercises

An Annual Event

Code Red Training Associates, Inc. strongly encourages Functional Exercises as the best method for practicing district-wide emergency readiness. The exercise is an exceptional tool for preparedness and response readiness.

Code Red Training utilizes Function Exercises as the perfect opportunity to activate the NIMS-mandated Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and practice the EOC role in keeping students and staff safe in the event of a district, community or regional emergency. Our team helps both District Offices and individual schools prepare and involve parent participation for this annual exercise. We can provide district templates for teacher memos, parent letters, role player instructions and checklists to ensure a successful exercise.

The exercise is the District's time to identify strengths and challenges, especially in practicing communications between the EOC and sites, so we recommend that other agencies do not participate except as supportive observers. Code Red Training structures these critical exercises as learning experiences, not pass/fail tests. Our observers facilitate the after-exercise debrief as well as provide minimal coaching, if necessary, during the event to keep it successful.

A functional exercise is often the culminating event for REMS grantees and this exercise should then be scheduled as an annual event. With support and guidance from our team, most of these exercises can be framed for a one hour timeframe.

Secrets for Success

  • Keep it simple.
  • Test all your ICS components, but keep the trigger incidents simple. 
  • Structure the exercise so confidence, enthusiasm and learning occur.
  • Make this an annual autumn event so the response is easily remembered for the rest of the school year.