FEMA Pandemic Exercise Series ( FEMA Camp Obola = Ebola )

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FEMA Pandemic Exercise Series

PANDEMIC ACCORD: 2013-14 Pandemic Influenza Continuity Exercise Strategy 

Overview

The Federal Executive Boards in New York City and Northern New Jersey in partnership with FEMA Region II, The Department of Health and Human Services Region II, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Clearing House Association are sponsoring a two year series of pandemic influenza continuity exercises – tabletop exercise 2013 (complete), full scale exercise 2014 –  to increase readiness for a pandemic event amongst Federal Executive Departments and Agencies, US Court, State, tribal, local jurisdictional and private sector continuity.

Pandemic influenza is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza virus appears or “emerges” in the human population causing serious illness, as it spreads from person to person worldwide.  History teaches us that the impact of a pandemic can be far-reaching.  The 1918 “Spanish Flu” influenza killed approximately 30,000 people in NYC, 500,000 in the United States and as many as 50 -100 million worldwide.  Furthermore, it leads to widespread social disruption and economic loss.

Pandemic influenza is unique in that, unlike many other catastrophic events, it will not directly affect physical infrastructure.  While a pandemic will not damage power lines, banks, or computer networks, it will ultimately threaten all critical infrastructures by its impact on an organization’s human resources causing a loss essential personnel from the workplace for weeks or months –National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan (May 2006).

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Economists, epidemiologists and other experts predict that the effects of a modern-day pandemic will be seen in every industry and government agency at local, regional, national and international levels.  Typically a pandemic influenza will come in “waves” each lasting 6-8 weeks with several months between each wave.  The CDC estimates that between 35%-40% of the United States population could be affected by pandemic influenza and the economic impact could range between $71.3 and $166.5 billion (2006 estimates).

The exercise objectives are to mitigate vulnerabilities during a pandemic influenza outbreak; to identify gaps or weaknesses in pandemic planning or in organization pandemic influenza continuity plans, policies, & procedures; and encourage public and private organizations to jointly plan for, and test, their pandemic influenza plans.

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Phases of Exercise

2013

  • Stage 1: Table Top Pandemic Influenza Exercise 2013 – Completed over 4 day period November 2013
  • Stage 2: After Action Report – Distributed January 2014

2014

  • Stage 3: Pandemic Influenza Exercise 2014 to include Full-scale and Tabletop exercise components
  • Stage 4: After Action Report
  • Stage 5: Corrective Action Report via NYU Partnership (Proposed)

Schedule and Locations

  • September 10, 2014 – Pandemic Accord Mid-Planning Conference and MESL Workshop – Mid Planning meeting for agency and firm lead controllers to discuss Pandemic Exercise and Review Master Scenario List for exercises.  Training will be held to teach Lead Controllers how to write agency and firm specific injects.  (The previously scheduled September 9th date is cancelled)   **Updated Event**
    • September 23, 2014 – 10:00-11:30am: Pandemic Webinar I: Federal and Local Government Pandemic Planning
      Speakers:
      – Ira Tannenbaum: New York City Office Of Emergency Management
      (NYCOEM)
      – Gerry McCarthy: Port Authority Of New York and New Jersey
      – Jerry Hauer: New York Department of Homeland Security
      – J. Silva/Howard Zucker: NYS Department of Health
      Audio Conference Details:
      – Conference Bridge #: 800-320-4330
      – Conference Code: 133067
      Webinar Details:
      – Select: https://share.dhs.gov/panwebsept23/
      – Enter as a guest.
      – Type your FIRST and LAST name.
      – Click “Enter Room.”
    • October 9, 2014 – 10:00-11:30am: Pandemic Training Webinar II – Power, Communications and Internet Connectivity in a Pandemic Event
      Speakers:
      – Wendy Panella/Robert Desiato: AT&T
      – Andrew Chen:  US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
      – Eugene Buerkle:  National Grid
      – Africa Based Non-Profit Organization
      Audio Conference Details:
      – Conference Bridge #: 800-320-4330
      – Conference Code: 133067
      Webinar Details:
      – Select: https://share.dhs.gov/pandemic10-9-14/
      – Enter as a guest.
      – Type your FIRST and LAST name.
      – Click “Enter Room.”
    • October 22, 2014  **Updated Event**
      Time: 10am – 12pm EST

      Description:
      – Master Scenario Events List (MSEL) Webinar for agency and firm lead
      controllers and evaluators to review the MSEL.
      – Following the MSEL webinar, the participants will be able to draft key events
      and the time of their delivery within the scope of their exercise participation.
      – Participants will also be responsible for constructing the remaining events as
      appropriate to their organization or agency.
      – The final MSEL will be completed prior to and reviewed at the Final Planning
      Meeting, to be held on November 6-7, 2014.
      Audio:
      – Conference Bridge #: 800-320-4330
      – Conference Code:  528585#
      Webinar:
      1) Select:  https://fema.connectsolutions.com/pandemicaccordmsel/
      2) Enter as a guest.
      3) Type your FIRST and LAST name.
      4) Click “Enter Room.”
  • November 6-7, 2014 (Please plan to attend both days) **Updated Event**
    – Final planning meeting for agency and firm lead controllers and evaluators to Review Master Scenario List for exercises and receive controller / evaluator training.  The Final Planning meeting is an HSEEP requirement when conducting full scale exercises. (November 6).
    – Controller / Evaluator training:  Training will be provided to exercise Controllers and Evaluators to help manage full scale exercise play (November 7)

    • 9am-12noon EST, Location: 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY Conference Room A/B or Conference Call 800-320-4330; pin 528585#
  • November 13, 2014: Pandemic Influenza Wave 1 Full Scale Exercise
    • 9:00am EST StartEx  /  3:30pm EST Endex
    • Location:  Your Agency / Firm
  • November 20, 2014: Pandemic Influenza Wave 2 Full Scale Exercise
    • 9:00am EST StartEx  /  3:30pm EST Endex
    • Location:  Your Agency / Firm
  • December 1-4, 2014: Pandemic Influenza Recovery / Reconstitution Tabletop Exercise and Pandemic Accord Hotwash (to also include feedback on Wave 1 and Wave 2) – The same session will be repeated over 4 consecutive days to accommodate the number of participants.  The event layout is similar to the 2013 Pandemic Accord Exercise, dial-in/WebEx capabilities will be made available to those that are unable to attend live.  (Please attend only 1 date)
    • 8:30am EST Registration
    • 9:00am EST StartEx  /  Hotwash 2:30 pm / 4:00pm EST Endex
    • Location: 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY Conference Room A/B or Conference Call 800-320-4330; pin 528585#

Registration

RSVP – please register for the following events via the links below: 

Goals and Objectives

A. Foster partnerships between public and private sector

    • Review/analyze continuity communications with stakeholders, partner agencies and/or customers
    • Encourage collaboration of best practices and strategies amongst various organizations

B.  Test an organization’s ability to plan for and react to a pandemic influenza outbreak

  • Provide tools and resources for creation of pandemic influenza plan if not developed
  • Test alert and notification for local, state, and national levels
  • Identify and prioritize essential functions        *Identify supply chain challenges

C.  Evaluate and validate Continuity of Operations planning and processes for a pandemic

  • Social distancing              *Activation of telework policy           * Succession plan
  • Pandemic influenza plan review          *HR policies regarding absenteeism

D.  Explore the effects of randomized absenteeism in the workplace

  • Model based on US census data will be developed to replicate absenteeism in the workplace
  • Participants will determine the businesses services that are impacted and how will they continue operations
  • Some departments may not be affected, while others areas may have their entire staff unavailable

E.  Explore the Psychological aspects and Business Reconstitution of post-wave recovery

  • Coping with the deaths of multiple co-workers/loved ones
  • Replacing staff
  • Replacing personal protective equipment in preparation for a potential next wave
  • Create a sense of community with the use of employee assistance programs

F.  Identify special considerations and materials for protecting the health and safety of employees during a pandemic outbreak

  • Social distancing materials                               *Community interventions
  • Syndromic Surveillance                                    *www.cdc.gov and  www.Flu.gov

Assumptions

  • Up to 40-50 percent of government and private sector staff may be absent for periods of about 2 weeks at the height of a pandemic wave with lower levels of staff absent for a few weeks on either side of the peak.
  • While a pandemic will not damage power lines, banks, or computer networks, it will ultimately threaten all critical infrastructures by its impact on an organization’s human resources causing a loss of essential personnel from the workplace for weeks or months.
  • Vaccine will most likely not be available in the early stages of a pandemic.

Key Players/Partners

  • Federal Executive Board New York City
  • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
  • FEMA Region II
  • DHHS Region II
  • Clearing House Association
  • NYU (tentative)
  • Federal Executive Board Northern New Jersey

Pandemic Event Background

Pandemic influenza is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza virus appears or “emerges” in the human population causing serious illness, as it spreads from person to person worldwide. History teaches us that the impact of a pandemic can be far-reaching. The 1918 “Spanish Flu” influenza killed approximately 30,000 people in NYC, 500,000 in the United States and as many as 50 -100 million worldwide. Furthermore, it leads to widespread social disruption and economic loss.

Pandemic influenza is unique in that, unlike many other catastrophic events, it will not directly affect physical infrastructure. While a pandemic will not damage power lines, banks, or computer networks, it will ultimately threaten all critical infrastructures by its impact on an organization’s human resources causing a loss essential personnel from the workplace for weeks or months – National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan (May 2006).

Economists, epidemiologists and other experts predict that the effects of a modern-day pandemic will be seen in every industry and government agency at local, regional, national and international levels. Typically a pandemic influenza will come in “waves” each lasting 6-8 weeks with several months between each wave. The CDC estimates that between 15%-35% of the United States population could be affected by pandemic influenza and the economic impact could range between $71.3 and $166.5 billion (2006 estimates).

The exercise objectives are to mitigate vulnerabilities during a pandemic influenza outbreak; to identify gaps or weaknesses in pandemic planning or in organization pandemic influenza continuity plans, policies, & procedures; and encourage public and private organizations to jointly plan for, and test, their pandemic influenza plans.

Points of Contact

  • Russell Fox, Continuity Manager, FEMA Region II, Operations, 212-680-8504 Office, 917-318-4859 Cell, Russell.fox@fema.dhs.gov
  • Gregory M. Gist, Director, CBCP, Industry Relations, Office of Emergency Management, Citi, 212-559-5030 Office, gistg@citi.com
  • Karl Schimmeck, VP, Financial Services, SIFMA, 212-313-1183 Office, 646-430-1014 Cell, kschimmeck@sifma.org
  • Ashley E. Smith, External Affairs, Region II, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, 212-680-8568, ashley.e.smith@dhs.gov

2013 Table Top Pandemic Influenza Exercise

The 2013 Pandemic Accord Table Top Pandemic Influenza Exercise took place on November 19, 2013 and was repeated on November 20th and November 21st. The Pandemic Accord TTX is the first exercise in a two-year exercise series that seeks to increase readiness for a pandemic event. The Table Top Exercise was designed to explore continuity planning for an influenza pandemic, foster partnerships between the public and private sectors, and identify potential promising practices as well as issues or shortfalls in pandemic plans. The purpose of these events are to enhance continuity planning among federal departments and agencies; U.S. Courts; state, tribal, local jurisdictions; and the private sector community.

Resources