This past year, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Active Learning and Exercising Branch (AL&E) developed and implemented a new strategy leading to the conduct of regional Training and Exercise Program Workshops. The process leading up to regional workshops was restructured to allow for collaboration and increased buy-in from all partners involved. The branch conducted regional and State workshops, which were well-attended by all jurisdictions and state agencies. One of the significant outcomes was the development of a comprehensive Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan (TEP).
The TEP provides training and exercises to the National Capital Region, the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative Partners, all six regions of Maryland, each of the twenty-six jurisdictions, all state agencies, and private sector partners, as requested. MEMA also assists with and facilitates training and exercise opportunities with other partners within FEMA Region III as well as hosting internal training programs for MEMA staff.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA (DHS/FEMA) Protection and National Preparedness, Grant Programs Directorate requires that every State and Urban Area conduct a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan Workshop (TEPW) annually.
Training and exercises play a crucial role in attaining, practicing, validating, and improving the State’s capabilities. The State’s training and exercise programs are administered by MEMA in coordination with local, State, federal, and private sector partners. The training and exercise agenda described in this plan will be tracked and reported for all State-level response agencies, as well as any local response agencies receiving State homeland security funds. The plan helps prepare Maryland to optimally address both the naturally-occurring and human-caused threats and hazards that it faces.
Included in the TEP is the training and exercise schedule, which provides a graphic illustration of the proposed activities that are scheduled for the years 2015 and 2016. It is representative of the natural progression of training and exercises that should take place in accordance with the building-block approach.
National Preparedness Goal
Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness describes the Nation’s approach to preparing for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of the United States. National preparedness is the shared responsibility of the whole community. Every member contributes, including individuals, communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith based organizations, and federal, State, and local governments. Success is defined as “a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.”
Maryland Emergency Preparedness Program
The ability of Maryland to address the risks associated with these potential events is directly tied to the preparedness of all of Maryland’s communities, levels of government, private and nonprofit organizations, and individual residents and visitors. The MEPP is the State’s innovative approach to implementing the National Preparedness Goal through comprehensive, statewide preparedness. It includes an organizational structure and a process for preparedness, the Maryland Preparedness System.
The goal of the MEPP is to institutionalize the coordination of emergency preparedness activities via an all-hazards approach to the delivery of specific capabilities, categorized by four (4) mission areas (Prevention/Protection, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation). Emergency operations within each mission area are guided by a separate, state-level interagency operations plan that identifies how state-level partners deliver the mission area’s capability set.
The concepts of capabilities and mission areas are used throughout this document. The organizations and plans developed through the MEPP are arranged according to mission areas, which align with the phases of an emergency. Capabilities are distinct yet highly interdependent elements, and their delivery is necessary for successful operations; they provide the means to accomplish missions, functions, or objectives through the execution of related tasks. Each mission area includes relevant capabilities that must be considered in planning and plan execution.
Figure 2: Capabilities by Mission Area
In Maryland, “homeland security” is not a specific agency, but instead is the combined mission of all Maryland communities to coordinate emergency preparedness and operations activities across the four mission areas. The MEPP serves as a guide in the execution of this mission.
Maryland Preparedness System
The Maryland Preparedness System is the methodology by which capabilities are developed, sustained, executed, and enhanced. The following diagram depicts the eight-step cycle that the State undertakes for each capability to enable current and future preparedness.
Figure 3: Maryland Preparedness System
The TEP is the product of Training and Exercise Planning Workshops (TEPW) in support of Step II of the Maryland Preparedness System: Set Capability Targets and Estimate Capability Needs, and drives activities in Step IV: Train on Capability Delivery, and Step V: Delivery Capability Through Real-World Events or Exercises.
Maryland’s Homeland Security Strategy
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (GOHS) oversees Maryland’s Strategic Goals and Objectives for Homeland Security (Core Goals), which establish the priority policy and programmatic areas for homeland security within the State of Maryland. The Core Goals are an interagency, intergovernmental, and multi-disciplinary listing of the priority areas for Maryland’s homeland security. The Core Goals focus on common-sense ways to improve and maintain security, with a focus on “daily use” projects and programs. The Core Goals enable Maryland to coordinate its progress towards achieving the specific objectives that the State is committed to pursuing, and include:
1. Interoperable Communications
2. Intelligence/Information Sharing
3. Hazardous Material (HazMat/Explosive Device Response
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for first responders
6. Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection
7. Training and Exercises
8. Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV)
9. Mass Casualty/Hospital Surge
11. Backup Power and Communications
12. Transportation Security
Preparedness Assessment and Prioritization
In 2012, the State conducted a comprehensive assessment of homeland security needs, Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA), capabilities, and vulnerabilities. Using these assessments, Maryland’s Homeland Security Strategy, and previous After-Action Report/Improvement Plan Template (ARR/IP) findings, Maryland has identified five priority capabilities on which to focus its planning, organizational changes, equipment acquisition, training, and exercises:
Figure 4: Improvement Planning
Maryland Preparedness Planning Certificate Program
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) seeks to promote a preparedness planning culture in Maryland. In order to achieve this important goal, MEMA began the pilot program in 2014 for the Maryland Preparedness Planning Certificate Program (MPPCP). This pilot program will run through June 2015, at which time it will continue as a permanent program for the state of Maryland with two options: basic and advanced track.
The Maryland Preparedness Planning Certificate Program is one of the first of its kind in the nation. This voluntary program will provide Maryland’s emergency management planners with the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct effective planning on the way to becoming a Maryland Preparedness Planner.
Benefits of the MPPCP include:
• A common lexicon and systematic planning methodology
• Increased efficiency in interagency and intergovernmental planning
• Credentialing process to assist with professional development
• Focus on national planning programs to foster greater interoperability
This program is designed to be flexible and scalable to a desired level of completion. Many planners may already have some or most of the courses required to complete the Basic Planner Track.
MPPCP BASIC TRACK
1. FEMA Professional Development Series Certificate 2. IS-453 Introduction to Homeland Security Planning
3. IS-15 Special Events Contingency Planning for Public Safety Agencies
4. IS-318 Mitigation Planning for Local and Tribal Communities
5. IS-520 Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenza
6. IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
7. IS-703 NIMS Resource Management
8. IS-800 National Response Framework
9. IS-2001 Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
10. IS-2900 National Disaster Recovery Framework Overview
11. MGT-310 Threat and Risk Assessment
12. MGT-315 Enhanced Threat and Risk Assessment
13. G-197 Emergency Planning and Special Needs Populations or E-197
Access and Functional Needs
14. S-440 Planning Section Chief Pre-Course Work
15. Basic National Planners Course
MPPCP ADVANCED TRACK
1. All courses listed under the MPPCP Basic Track
2. IS-328 Plan Review for Local Mitigation Plans
3. IS-366 Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
4. National Planners Course Team Leader
5. E-962 NIMS All-Hazards Planning Section Chief
6. G-270/E-210 Recovery From Disaster: The Local Government Role
MEMA’s Active Learning and Exercising (AL&E) Branch conducted regional TEPWs with local jurisdictions, and federal, State, and private sector partners to identify scheduled and needed training and exercises. The regional meetings were broken down as follows:
Figure 5: TEPW Meetings
Prior to each of these meetings, MEMA developed and distributed a survey to assist with capturing data from funded projects, equipment, training, and plans. AL&E also captured identified gaps from AARs and IPs from real world incidents and exercises of the previous year(s). Information gathered was cross-walked with Maryland’s Homeland Security Strategy to revise old State priorities and establish new ones. Following the Maryland TEPWs, data was rolled up to create a multi-year plan outlining capability-based training and exercises in Maryland for the next two years.
Based on the program priorities, an aggressive schedule of training and exercises was documented that will be led by MEMA’s AL&E. These events will address the four (4) MEPP mission areas (prevention/protection, mitigation, response, and recovery) so that the objectives for each training and exercise will integrate with the Capabilities and provide the information needed to better prepare for future events. The following Capabilities were identified by each region as priorities during their TEPW.
Figure 6: 2015 Priorities
Exercises will range from discussion-based exercises (e.g., workshops and tabletops) to operations-based exercises (e.g., drills, functional exercises, and full-scale exercises). Each AL&E-led exercise will be followed by the creation of a detailed AAR and IP. These reports will be used in follow-on training and exercises to ensure that areas for improvement are appropriately identified, tracked, and rectified.
Reports will be made available to all stakeholders. As the levels of training and exercises increase in complexity, they will naturally become increasingly challenging for participants and jurisdictions. Using this building-block approach to exercising is essential to ensure the overall enhancement of the State of Maryland’s vision that “A Prepared Marylander Creates a Resilient Maryland.”
Figure 7: Exercise Building Blocks
2015 – MEMA -LED AND/OR -COORDINATED TRAINING
2016– MEMA -LED AND/OR -COORDINATED EXERCISESACRONYMS