An Exercise/Drill Program helps promote preparedness, evaluate plans, train personnel, and demonstrate operational capabilities. Below is an example of a full-scale exercise that consultants of the Business Contingency Group conducted at 20th Century Fox Studios.
It was held in conjunction with the Los Angeles County, Office of Emergency Management’s county-wide Disaster Recovery Exercise. Over 80 people participated in this exercise, including 20th Century Fox Employee Floor Wardens, Employee Emergency Response Teams, Emergency Operations Center Staff, Security Staff, Dispensary Staff, as well as the employees from other production companies. The Los Angeles Fire Department was also participated in this exercise.
The exercise provided a realistic simulation that tested multiple parts of 20th Century Fox Studio’s disaster recovery plans and resources. Floor Wardens conducted a mock evacuation coordinating their activities with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Employee Emergency Response Teams responded to a partially collapsed building with multiple casualties and conducted search & rescue operations. A treatment area was set up to deal with the casualties. LAFD supported the operation by rescuing an injured employee trapped in a location beyond the Employee Emergency Response Team’s capability. The Emergency Operations Center staff coordinated all these activities and many other issues that arose from this incident.
At the conclusion of the exercise a "hotwash" was conducted with each of the groups participating in the exercise. The "hotwash" provided an opportunity for the participants, facilitators, evaluators, and simulators to review and comment on the exercise they just participated in.
The exercise was deemed a complete success. Besides meeting all of the objectives, the exercise provided an opportunity for all the employees that are part of the emergency response organization to work together during a simulated disaster. Over the months following the exercise, plans were updated and revised based on what was learned during the exercise.
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake centered near the Burbank Airport rocked the Southland the day before the exercise. The earthquake caused less dramatic damage then the Northridge earthquake but more wide spread areas of damage. There were some building collapses and damage, injuries, utility outages, freeway damage, and many other incidents and problems. At 9:34am the day of the exercise a 5.5 aftershock hits, causing additional damage and incidents. This exercise dealt with issues and problems still pending/unresolved from the previous days earthquake, the aftershock its self, and the new incidents and problems resulting from that aftershock. Parts I & II below.