Train the Way You Respond

The Institute for Homeland Security believes in staying One Step Ahead in research and professional development. The SimTable is a great technological resource that can be used for tabletop exercises or mapping out new response strategies. The highlight of this tool is the interfaces that the software can use to visualize how emergencies unfold throughout a location, particularly in the terrain of the location being projected. The software counts with three different types of emergencies: Fire, Flooding, and Chemical Plumes. In addition to seeing how these emergencies evolve, you can make various decisions to mitigate emergencies from growing and impacting nearby communities. You can implement various strategies for the emergency, like roadblocks, evacuation zones, evacuation routes, staging areas, mobile EOCs, and markers representing incidents or actions. To make this tool make exercises the most effective and realistic, existing GIS can be imported to the 2D map being pictured on the table or online.

Benefits of using SimTable Multijurisdictional Exercises

5 Top Benefits:

  1. Promote collaboration.
  2. Initiate communication and build relationships with the resources available in your local area.
  3. An agile tool that allows participants to adapt their decision-making to emerging threats that may impact critical infrastructure assets.
  4. Import existing GIS data.
  5. Record tabletop exercises to review your teams' decisions made during the exercise later.

SimTable display showing a wildfire spreading out from the center.

Simtable's wildfire modeling technology brings sand table exercises to life in high-risk areas. With Simtable, you can create training modules, conduct mitigation and fuels planning, and engage your community with simulated wildfires using local data and terrain. The technology uses advanced computer simulations to model fire progressions, taking into account wind speed and direction, terrain, slope, and fuels. This provides an interactive experience that is both effective and easy to use.

Three Major Exercise Focuses

Business Continuity

Tabletop exercises are highly effective sessions where team members confidently discuss and strategize their responses to emergency situations. These exercises cover a wide range of topics, including delegating authorities, communications, and alternate operating locations, ensuring that the team is well-prepared to handle any crisis with confidence and efficiency.

Emergency Communication

Tabletop exercises provide an excellent opportunity for first responders and industry workers to confidently discuss their roles in emergency situations. These exercises are conducted in an informal, low-stress environment that promotes teamwork and communication, ensuring that everyone is well-prepared to handle any crisis that may arise.

Functional Recovery

Collaborative tabletop exercises provide an excellent opportunity for police, firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders to work together and enhance their emergency response skills. By utilizing SimTable exercises, they can review their mitigation plans and identify areas for improvement, ultimately leading to more effective and efficient emergency responses.

Tabletop exercises are offered live onsite with SimTable

Planning stage: The organization conducts planning meetings and IHS assists in the development of the scenario.

On-site with SimTable: As an emergency evolves, a web-based SimTable can be shared through a QR link to aid decision-making during exercises.

Key Participant Roles and Responsibilities:

Players: During the exercise, players actively discuss and perform their regular responsibilities, responding to simulated emergencies and emerging threats.

Observers: do not participate or have any controlling or evolutionary functions.

Facilitators: They are in charge of planning and managing exercise play are responsible for setting up and operating the exercise site. They provide situation updates, moderate discussions, and answer questions while also providing additional information as needed. These individuals control the pace of the exercise, provide crucial data to players, and may prompt or initiate certain player actions to ensure that the exercise runs smoothly and continuously.

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Heberto Villarreal Headshot

Mr. Heberto Villarreal

Project Manager I  936-294-3043  Bio & Publications

Purpose Statement

The process of planning involves bringing the future into the present, thereby enabling one to take timely action. This approach is crucial in ensuring that one is able to make informed decisions and achieve desired outcomes. By adopting a proactive stance towards planning, individuals can effectively manage their resources and optimize their potential.