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Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Virtual Table Top Exercise (VTTX)

VTTX Testimonial: “The most important thing we can say about training for incidents like the active shooter threat our campus experienced on December 10, 2015, is that participating in exercises like FEMA’s VTTX are invaluable experiences when a critical situation arises like it did for us that day. Supporting members of our emergency operations team were able to make critical decisions confidently and without hesitation or authorization from command, because we have discussed them in previous tabletops, and indeed did so during the VTTX that very morning. In addition, having our team gathered and prepared for a hot wash on the VTTX helped us collect thoughts for an after-action review on the real incident at a level that would not have been possible had we not come together for your broadcast.”

Jon Carvell, MPA
University Safety & Emergency Management Coordinator, Arkansas State University

Background: The VTTX is a series of Virtual Tabletop Exercises that are offered monthly by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). The VTTX program was launched in September of 2012 as an initiative to leverage technology and reach a large training audience.

Program Overview: The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) conducts a monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX) using a video teleconference platform to reach community based training audiences around the country and provide a virtual forum for disaster training. The VTTX process involves key personnel from the emergency management community of practice reviewing a pre-packaged set of exercise materials then convening for a four hour table top exercise discussing a simulated disaster scenario. The event allows the connected sites to assess current plans, policies and procedures while learning from the other connected sites as they provide their perspective and practices facing a similar situation. A standard VTC system is required for participation.

Training Audience: The VTTX is limited to 10-15 remote "Participation" sites per event due to time constraints. The program also allows for some "Observation" sites for each event to become familiar with the VTTX process. The VTTX is designed for a community based group of 10 or more representatives from your local Emergency Management Community of Practice.

Training Cost: Free

Training Dates & Times: The VTTX is conducted monthly and advertised on the EMI Web Page with a training opportunity announcement, distributed via multiple FEMA distribution lists, and other Emergency Management professional forums. To accommodate participants from the West Coast, the VTTX is conducted from 12:00 EST to 4:00 p.m. EST. Participating sites will be required to sign on at 11:00 EST and be prepared to go to 4:30 p.m. EST. For a list of the current VTTX schedule, please contact the Program Manager below.

Select here for the FY18 Quarter 1 Program Information, dates and scenarios

Select here for the FY18 Quarter 2 Program Information, dates and scenarios

Requirements to Participate:

  1. A lead POC from your community to serve as the contact for the VTTX Program Manager
  2. VTC capability. We will validate connectivity as part of the site slate process.
  3. A Community based group with representation from the Emergency Management disciplines.
  4. A remote site Facilitator to manage the VTTX discussion process from your site.

Exercise Documents: Exercise documents for this event will be provided to the lead remote site POC as soon as the final list is announced. VTTX documents will include

  1. A power point slide pack that will serve as the "script" for the 4 hour exercise
  2. A Situation Manual (SITMAN) that will provide an overview of the scenario, structure and guidelines as well as the 3 phases of the exercise
  3. A Local Site Guide – Exercise Coordination & Facilitation Guide, that will provide the designated Facilitator for your respective site detailed instructions on the VTTX process and how to organize and prepare your group for the event

Program Manager contact information: Doug Kahn, Training Specialist, Integrated Emergency Management Branch, DHS/FEMA/Emergency Management Institute, 16825 S. Seton Ave., Emmitsburg, MD 21727, Office Phone: 301 447 7645 FAX: 301 447 1006 Email:

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