What is a Tabletop Exercise?
A tabletop exercise is the simplest type of disaster planning exercise. Unlike Functional or
Full-Scale exercises, that simulate emergencies in a highly realistic (and physical) manner, participants in a tabletop
exercise normally sit around a table and talk about the actions they might take to address an emergency. Don’t let the
simplicity of the exercise fool you, though: such an exercise can expose the strengths and weaknesses of
an agency’s disaster planning and lead to substantive change before a true disaster occurs.
During a tabletop
exercise a facilitator presents a disaster-related scenario and everyone around the table verbalizes the actions that
he/she would take in response to that scenario. As the discussion proceeds, the facilitator alters or complicates the scenario
by introducing new information, called “injects.” Normally, the entire exercise lasts from one to four hours,
though there is no prescribed limit; the exercise could be planned to extend a full day or more.
Each RescuingRecords Tabletop Exercise package includes:
Invest once - Use often
- A scenario written specifically for cultural institutions;
- Powerpoint® introduction to the exercise;
- Facilitator's Guide;
- Maps and Diagrams (if applicable);
- Injects to be introduced throughout the exercise;
- And more!
Because a tabletop
exercise is free-form and not highly structure, each exercise can be used again and again to train new staff, exercise various
combinations of staff, or to reinforce the preparedness of staff who have already participated in the exercise.
Each repetition of the exercise will be incorporate your latest preparedness plans and policies as new gaps are revealed and
corrected. A tabletop exercise package is an investment in preparedness that your repository will use repeatedly.Why
buy a RescuingRecords.com Tabletop Exercise?
You can find free Tabletop Exercises online, but only RescuingRecords.com exercises are written
specifically for libraries, archives, and museums. Many of the exercises available online involve entire communities
and many emergency responders. While you ought to participate in community exercises, every Tabletop Exercise from RescuingRecords.com
is written to exercise your repository's response in particular: What will you do while you wait for outside help--or
if no outside help ever arrives?
Preview the Tornado Exercise Package (pdf)