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Global Emergency Exercise

5 September 2014 | London

Part of the Kenyon Exercise Control Team: L-R Di Pook, Kerstin Detel, Eline Schotsmans, Stephen McKenna, David Herriman, Gavin Solomon, James Ayling, Kate Morris, and Jerry Allen.

On September 5th, Kenyon facilitated its largest and most complex emergency exercise in recent years. The client required a no-notice exercise involving full activation of client emergency staff in seven different countries. The client activated its "silver" and "gold" level crisis centers in four different locations. A very challenging and fast-moving scenario was introduced by Kenyon at multiple levels, in multiple locations (often simultaneously) and by multiple media.

Kenyon’s involvement in this exercise started several months ago with clandestine client meetings to determine the scope and scale of the exercise. A scenario was developed alongside a significant Master Events List (exercise ‘script’). The Kenyon Exercise Control (Excon) team consisted of 14 staff. For the Excon Team, the work will continue after the exercise, collating the lessons learned from the various locations and preparing an Exercise Report for the client.

For those organizations considering their own exercises, regardless of scope or complexity, some reflections from the management of this event include:

  • Ensure that Excon has a robust, multimedia method of communications with each other. For this exercise, we primarily used Skype and mobile VOIP applications (e.g., WhatsApp). As a back up, we had mobile phones and alternative mobile phones. We used the client wi-fi in each location but we had mobile communication "dongles" or wireless cards in case wi-fi failed.

  • Take at least a whole day before the exercise to brief all members of Excon and to print the exercise documents. It is amazing how long this process takes and it cannot be rushed if the exercise is to be a success.

  • Make one member of Excon solely responsible for the administration and logistics for the team. Travel, hotel bookings, catering, meetings spaces, access to buildings (especially difficult when the exercise is no-notice), and communications are just some of the many things that this person will be responsible for.

  • For more information about conducting your own emergency response exercise, please contact us.

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