CNA has nearly 70 years of experience in exercise design and evaluation, from tabletops to full-scale exercises. We bring particular expertise in emergency management; public health and medical response; and foreign animal disease response, and our clients include federal agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security. We also support regional, state, and local governments, such as California, the District of Columbia, the National Capital Region, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
Disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, with or without warning. Federal, state, local, tribal, and nongovernmental agencies and organizations must be prepared to respond to natural and man-made emergencies, including tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, explosions, earthquakes, floods, blizzards, pandemics, bio-security threats, and terrorist attacks. In the last decade, the nation’s preparedness capabilities to respond to these types of disasters have become a pressing concern.
Exercise programs are an essential component of preparedness, but is the nation getting the most value from these exercises? Are the lessons learned and the knowledge gained from these exercises being shared widely and acted upon in a systematic manner? Recent Government Accounting Office reports and testimony—including comments from the current Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Ms. Janet Napolitano, who participated in a DHS-sponsored Tier 1 National Level Exercise as a State Governor—have raised concerns about these specific issues. The paper below presents some ideas to stimulate thinking on how to improve current exercise programs and how to reach a much wider audience with the knowledge gained from them.
CNA conducted the following services on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: