Author: Jessica Kaputa, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWICs) and other emergency preparedness personnel may notice that typical operations are limited due to reduced state budgets and increased reliance on virtual alternatives. These budget cuts and virtual environments disproportionately impact communications-based training and exercise activities. Some SWICs are coping with the challenges well, and others need options to better support trainings and exercises.
The National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Planning, Training, and Exercise (PTE) Committee developed Training and Exercises in the New Normal to help SWICs anticipate challenges and find solutions to continue to ensure high-quality and effective communications-based training and exercises in the new operating environment.
The NCSWIC PTE Committee gathered comprehensive information from across the country to inform this guidance document by hosting five regional roundtables in December 2020. Participants in the roundtables included SWICs, state training officers, exercise coordinators, and other public safety personnel, who were encouraged to share best practices and lessons learned. The NCSWIC PTE Committee does not aim to answer all identified problems. Instead, the document contextualizes identified challenges to help SWICs identify solutions. By reading about the gaps and challenges in other states, SWICs may identify issues they had not previously considered. The consolidated resource list and best practices in the document may also help inspire solutions.
Training and Exercises in the New Normal document can be accessed at this link Training and Exercises in the New Normal . To learn more about the PTE Committee’s work, visit cisa.gov/safecom/training-and-exercises or email NCSWICgovernance@cisa.dhs.gov.