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Volume 32, Issue 2

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UPDATED: July 10, 2017
Published by the DRJ Professional Program and Development Committee

What it is:

Have you ever been asked to develop an exercise of your emergency management or crisis management plan? Your business continuity or disaster recovery plan? Have you struggled to find a realistic scenario to use? Or have you developed an exercise scenario that has amazed your team and you think it would be great to be able to share it with other professionals in your industry?

Well, if any of the above examples strikes a note with you, this library may be just what you need and have been looking for! The DRJ Exercise Library contains examples of different types of exercises, including descriptions and other information to help you in your exercise planning endeavors.

And remember, if you have performed an exercise that would be of benefit to others, we ask you to share information by contacting us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add your content to the library.

How to use this library:

This library will provide you with ideas about the different types of exercises available to you which you can conduct with your emergency/crisis management teams and/or your business continuity and disaster recovery teams.

All you need to do is copy the description, tweak it to meet your business needs and voila, you have an exercise scenario. If you tweak the scenario, feel free to send your tweak to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so it can be added to this Exercise Library.

Below you will find two tables which include:

1. Glossary of Terms/Definitions
2. Exercise Library Table with the exercise examples.

We are hoping this library will continue to grow and evolve as professionals in the industry add their exercise scenarios.






The type of impact or scenario you want to exercise.




The length of time you are considering for the outage. For example, if the duration shows 3 days, this means your business process cannot be conducted in a business as usual way for at least 3 days. Therefore you will be exercising an outage of at least 3 days in duration.



Scenario Description

The telling of the event. This will identify what has happened, when and some possible impacts due to the incident.



Injects/Additional Materials

Additional information you may want to inject into the exercise once the team has started their exercise.  In a real life incident, you do not get all of the facts of the event when it occurs, other information is realized or provided as the event continues. This is what the injects are meant to provide, they are to give your team additional information to work with to help them reenact what they would do in a real event.

Note: Some of the materials can be google map illustrations, pictures from news releases or from events that have occurred and you are mimicking or they can be pictures you have which can be leveraged in your exercise documents. The pictures in the library are just examples of what you can find and use.

Exercise Library Table:



Scenario Description

Injects/Additional Materials

Building Closure

3 days

 <Insert location here> is closed due to water shut off due to construction damage.  The utilities company has indicated the repair will take at least 72 hours and all buildings in the area will not have city water during the repair.







Weeks/ months

On <insert date and time here>, the <insert location here> experienced residual rolling earthquake aftershocks causing erratic network connectivity and electrical power spikes.  10% of employees affected by the rolling aftershocks were not able to report to work.  The onsite back-up generator has also experienced intermittent failures. 

A facility assessment found no structural damage nor reports of onsite injuries.  Connectivity and power shortage has caused delays to inbound print and document files, thereby presenting malfunction and reboot issues to affect production equipment.  As a result, disrupting the <insert critical functions here>; the leadership team has directed a move of those operations to the alternate Disaster Recovery Site in <insert location here>.

An incident action plan was initiated to notify and coordinate with leaders, employees, internal/external customers, Emergency Operations Center and IT support teams.






Cyber attack


A malicious virus attack has infected all <insert location here> servers.   The backups have also been partially infected but they were able to contain the spread and believe recovery is a possibility. Employees have been alerted <insert location here> is open and network systems are 10% operational.

Monday 10:00am:
We have had a meeting with IT and our disaster recovery teams and have enacted our BCP plan.  In the meantime, to prevent any potential spread of the virus, all connectivity between our building and the data center has been cut off until they are sure every system has been purged.

Wednesday 10:00am:
IT has updated us as follows: The servers have been restored and network connectivity will be made available to us, however a lot of the web based applications need to be restored which they estimate completion by next week.

Monday 12:00pm:
IT has updated us as follows:  All applications have been restored and we are fully operational





Pandemic affecting 3rd party provider

2+ months

<Insert business> provides a significant number of resources to the IT division of <insert company>.
A Pandemic (widespread infection/illness) has resulted in the loss of at least 50% of those resources.

The pandemic has lasted for one month and is expected to continue for at least 2 more months. 
Technology outage <24 hours

On <insert date here>, due to a system glitch, the <insert critical technology here> went down. When IT was contacted, they stated the glitch had been identified but it would take up to 2 hours to be fully functional.

This will affect approximately 40 customers in <insert location(s) here>.

Until the system is restored, employees will need to complete customer transactions on downtime forms.

Government area closure 2 weeks

On <insert date here>, there was a major industrial accident at a plant at the <Insert business> in <insert location here>. Among other fuels, there was 4,500 metric tons of ammonium perchlorate (rocket fuel) stored at a facility on the outskirts of <insert location(s) here>, releasing respiratory irritants into the air.

The exact circumstances leading to the event are inconclusive, but the facility exploded with a force equivalent to 1 kiloton of TNT, the same yield as a tactical nuclear weapon.
Governor’s office confirms:

  • The chemical fires are expected to continue burn for the next two weeks, releasing respiratory irritants for the duration.
  • Winds are expected to bring these irritants across the <insert location(s) here> metro area starting at 2 PM this afternoon and are not expected to shift prior to the fires exhausting in two weeks.
  • <Insert location(s) here> metro residents are encouraged to limit non-essential travel in favor of staying inside until the irritants dissipate in two weeks.
  • Customer service impact <24 hours

    On <insert date here>, it was just before dawn when the driver of a truck carrying 30,000 pounds of bananas missed the sign stating vehicles should change to a low gear, he slid into the guard rail and lost 30,00 pounds of bananas all over Service Level has been steadily dropping and is now at 40 with no sign of the highway.

    When employees tried to get to work in the morning the highway was closed for hours, causing everyone to be late and a shortage of staff to answer the incoming customer calls.

    10:00 AM <insert critical functions here> Service Level has been steadily dropping and is now at 40 with no sign of improving due to staffing.

    10:10 AM Word From State Police the highway will remained closed until clean up is complete, no timing has been provided.

    Employee impact Approx 1 week

    Late last night the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) confirmed a person in <insert location here> area has been diagnosed with a very rare and deadly disease caused by infection. We have confirmed this is one of our employees. The CDC has placed our employee in the hospital and informed us of the issue.

    CDC has also included in their statement, the patient's home and her employer’s building will be placed in quarantine until further notice.

    No employees will be allowed in the <insert location here> building until further notice

    CDC has just informed <insert location here> security that hazmat teams are coming to the building:

  • Equipment and furniture in the building will be sanitized or removed.
  • Estimates indicate the building will be unavailable for a week.
  • What’s the plan for next week?
  • What actions do you need to take for the employees?
  • EarthquakeMonthsOn <insert date and time here>, a 6.7M Earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area. The epicenter of the quake originated at the northern part of the Hayward Fault, between the cities of Berkeley and Oakland. Moderate damage to the <insert location(s) here> resulted from the magnitude of the quake. The building is evacuated and the EOC has been notified. There are no reported injuries to onsite employees. A walkthrough assessment has deemed 75% of the facility to be inaccessible, with no serious structural damage. The northern wing of the facility has received the most damage, disrupting <insert critical functions here>. Equipment and furniture has been shifted/altered due to the scale of the earthquake. Windows along the west wall of the <insert function/team> area are broken. Fragments of glass is found throughout the space. Plausible safety concerns to continue operating functions. <Insert function/team> has sustained damage to equipment, hindering capacity to process <insert critical functions here>. Clean up, maintenance and repair may take up to 1 week. A decision is made to notify, coordinate a contingency plan with leadership, employees, and internal customers as well as, external suppliers.