How to Test Your Emergency Preparedness Plans Regularly

Testing the effectiveness of your company’s Emergency Preparedness Plan is a crucial step in both preparation and recovery from a disaster. It is important that all the steps for a quick and efficient recovery are in place in case of a manmade or natural disaster. Testing before an actual emergency is essential to every small business’ preparedness plan execution.

According to, there are specific areas that a Test Exercise of your Emergency Preparedness Plan should include, which will lead to a more effective and impactful disaster response and recovery.

The test exercise:

1. Allows management to evaluate plans and procedures and assess if they are feasible and will work during an actual emergency.

2. Determine how much your personnel understand their role in case of an emergency.

3. Improve any coordination or communication among your response staff.

4. Determine which areas can be improved upon.

5. Improve the ability to respond to emergencies by management and the staff who serve under them.

The Test Team is also a vital part of an Emergency Preparedness Plan Test and should be comprised of the following, or roles similar:

  • A Test Design Team: tasked with coming up with scenarios for test exercises.
  • The Simulation Team: responsible for leading test exercise participants through the simulation.
  • The Facilitator: in charge of the overall coordination of the test exercise.
  • Test Assistant: helps the Facilitator during the exercise.

Another crucial part of a test exercise are the messages, which allow the Facilitator to escalate the simulation and influence action through information gathering, discussion, prioritization and the deployment, or through the denial of resources.

Finally, through evaluation of the test and feedback by the Facilitator, strategies can be developed to improve your company’s overall Emergency Preparedness Plan.

For more information about how to effectively test your emergency preparedness plan, visit: and