Table-Top Exercises

What is a Table-Top Exercise (TTE)?

According to the FEMA page cited here:, a table-top exercise is “a focused practice activity that places the participants in a simulated situation requiring them to function in the capacity that would be expected of them in a real event. Its purpose is to promote preparedness by testing policies and plans and by training personnel. Many successful responses to emergencies over the years have demonstrated that exercising pays huge dividends when an emergency occurs.”

We have developed the following exercises as part of our work with NN/LM’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative to assist libraries in preparedness for service continuity in emergencies or disasters.  Each includes instructions, based on our experience, about preparing for the exercise, a scenario on which to base the discussion, recommendations for conducting the exercise, and some optional questions to further your discussion.

Major Storm (e.g. hurricane or winter storm)


Influenza epidemic

Here is another helpful TTE, specifically for training for earthquakes, but including some excellent general advice about conducting an exercise.  It is from the Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division:  See the exercise here:  Business_Earthquake_TableTop

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