Exercise more. It’s a common resolution for those who want to improve their health in the new year. But exercise, though not in the literal sense, is just as important to organizations looking to bolster their preparedness and, ultimately, their resilience in 2023 and beyond. Resilience is best accomplished through regularly exercising emergency operations and/or continuity of operations plans (EOPs/COOPs). 

EOP- and COOP-related activities and exercises, as planners know, can be discussion-based or operations-based. Discussion-based ones typically highlight existing plans, policies, mutual aid agreements (if applicable), and procedures and can help familiarize all involved parties with current or expected capabilities. Discussion-based exercises and activities include: 

  • Seminars: Informal discussions designed to orient participants to new or updated plans, policies, or procedures. 
  • Workshops: Similar to seminars, but intended to build specific products, such as a plan draft, or to develop a training and/or exercise schedule. 
  • Games: Informal yet highly beneficial to role-playing, memorization, etc. 
  • Tabletop exercises: Low-stress exercises where a facilitator guides team members through discussions about their roles and responsibilities in one or more scenarios.