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2. Capabilities to be exercised

Exercises should be designed to test specific capabilities. FEMA has provided a "Universal Task List", identifying the specific tasks reqiured for responding to all hazards. These tasks are grouped into five areas; an area for each of the emergency management missions, and a "Common Capabilities" area representing those capabilities needed across all missions:
  • Common Capabilities
  • Prevent
  • Protect
  • Respond
  • Recover
Each of these areas is further subdivided. As communications providers, much of our responsibility falls under the Common Capabilities area, and especially the subcategory, "Communications". However, most of the tasks within the Common Capabilities area apply to us, as do many of the tasks within the other mission areas, especially Respond. A complete list of the tasks witin the Common Capabilities area is included in the appendices to this paper
Based on the deficiencies exposed in the May exercise, it would make sense to focus the next exercise on two tasks:
  • ComA2.4.3.1 - Develop Standard Operating Procedures and Standard Operating Guides in support of Emergency Operations Plans
  • ComC1.2.2 - Develop common communication and data standards to facilitate the exchange of information in support of response management
Clearly, many of the taks within the Communications section are applicable to almost any action taken by ARES/RACES, but these two seem appropriate areas of focus for this upcoming exercise.
For reference, the tasks within the "Common Capabilites" are listed in Appendix A. Appendix E lists all the Target Capabilities, along with the top level headings for the tasks within those capabilities. The entire Universal Task List encompasses thousands of tasks.