Dallas County
Homeland Security & Emergency Management

509 Main St. Ste. 305, Dallas, TX 75209 Office 214-653-7980 Fax 214-653-7988

Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
The Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is both a doctrine and policy for designing, developing, conducting, and evaluating these exercises. HSEEP is a threat and performance based exercise program that include a cycle, mix, and range of exercise activities of varying degrees of complexity and interaction.

Exercise Methodology: Building-Block Approach
Dallas County and jurisdictions across North Central Texas all possess different levels of preparedness for all hazards in preparedness, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery. Because of these differences, Dallas County OSEM uses a building-block approach in the design of the overall exercise program.

The building-block approach ensures successful progression in exercise design, complexity, and execution, and allows for the appropriate training and preparation to take place in the community receiving the exercise. Using this methodology, Dallas County OSEM can ensure that the exercise scope, scale, and complexity are customized while maintaining a consistent delivery method.

Using the building-block approach and the cycle of complexity enhances the likelihood for success. The program allows for a logical progression of regional and jurisdiction preparedness by increasing the size, complexity, and stress factor over time, while allowing for significant learning opportunities that complement, build upon, and directly lead into one another effectively. This model remains flexible enough to allow for the addition or inclusion of other desired exercise types that Dallas County may require.

This building-block methodology allows for a cyclical approach to Dallas County exercises and a sustainable program for achieving higher degrees of overall preparedness for all-hazard emergencies. Dallas County OSEM has relationships with individual departments, agencies, or programs within Dallas County that will use this cyclical approach to exercise development with exercises in the Dallas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Exercises are not stand alone activities and are integrated into an overall preparedness program that follows an annual cycle of:

  • Plannning/exercise development
  • Training/exercise preparation
  • Exercises
  • Improvement Plan (After-Action Review and Corrective Action/Improvement Plan)

After Action Review and Improvement Plans
The After Action Report (AAR) will provide a picture of the response by the exercise participants and community leaders so that everyone can understand what was expected to happen, what actually happened, why it happened, and what could have been done differently to improve performance. Generally, the initial Improvement Plan will be included in the final After Action Report (AAR).

The Improvement Plan is the means by which the lessons learned from the exercise are turned into concrete, measurable steps that result in improved response capabilities. The After Action Review and Improvement Plan specifically details what actions will be taken to address each recommendation presented in the draft After Action Report, who or what agency(s) will be responsible for taking the action, and the timeline for completion.

State of Texas Exercise Requirements
Dallas County OSEM includes planned exercise activities as part of our Emergency Management Program. In order for Dallas County to maintain an Advanced Level of Preparedness, Dallas County OSEM must conduct a Table Top Exercise and a Functional or Full-Scale exercise every year with no more than four years between full-scale exercises.

  1. Types of Exercises:
    1. Table Top Exercise (TTX): A table top exercise gathers local officials, emergency responders, and where appropriate, representatives of volunteer groups and other support agencies, in a structured non-threatening environment to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the various exercise participants in responding to a simulated emergency.
    2. Functional Exercise (FE): A functional exercise is designed to test and evaluate emergency operations functions and the interaction of various elements of government, volunteer groups, and industry in a simulated, real-time environment. This level of exercise usually involves key decision-makers, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff, and representatives of response and support organizations. Controllers and simulators initiate exercise events, may simulate certain field response activities, and also represent external organizations pertinent to the exercise scenario that are not participating in the exercise.
    3. Full-Scale Exercise (FSE): A full-scale exercise includes all of the components of a functional exercise with the addition of actual deployment of personnel and equipment. The full-scale exercise is intended to test and evaluate the operational capability of the overall emergency management system in a realist environment.
  2. Exercise Scenarios
    Scenarios involving all-hazards generally fall into one of the follwoing categories:
    • Natural Hazard
    • National Security
    • Terrorism
    • Technological or Man-Made Hazards
  3. State of Texas Exercise Standards:
    1. The jurisdiction’s chief elected official or a designated representative identified in the jurisdiction’s EMP must participate.
    2. The jurisdiction’s Direction and Control function must be tested and evaluated.
    3. At a minimum, three emergency management functions must be tested and evaluated which include:
      • Alert/Notification
      • Communications
      • Direction & Control
      • Emergency Public Information
      • Damage Assessment
      • Health and Medical
      • Individual & Family Assistance
      • Public Safety
      • Public Works/Engineering
      • Transportation
      • Resource Management
      • Warning
    4. A minimum of four departments/agencies assigned emergency management or response role in the local emergency management plan must participate.

    If you have any questions about Emergency Planning, please contact: Emergency Management Office, 214-653-7980.