Sample Pandemic Exercise for Crisis Management Team

Need to plan a Sample Pandemic exercise?  Below is simple exercise “straw man” to help you build from at your organization.

In this exercise, we sent out an email pre-notification alerting our Crisis Team that we have a problem and they need to prepare.

On the day of the exercise, the Crisis Team had received their pre-notification and was ready to engage.

At the exercise, we provided them with multiple updates requiring them to activate plans and people to respond.

Pre-Notification (Sent to Team 2 to 3 Days Before Exercise)First Exercise Update Given to Team Second Exercise Update Given to TeamThird Exercise Update Given to Team
Increase in H1N1 cases in surrounding areas.

Increase in severity and impact to infected persons.

First case of H1N1 confirmed at Headquarters.

Absenteeism at 25% for critical business units.

School closures on the horizon.

Postal Service delivering mail every 2 days.

Absenteeism is at 49% for critical business units.

Schools closed in the city impacting staff ability to come to work.

Two highly critical suppliers cannot support the business and have suspended product delivery for 3 weeks.

IT staff absences are impacting ability to maintain system availability.

Absenteeism down to 35%.

Schools remain closed.

Time to process orders has increased by 75%.

Postal service delivering mail every 3 days.

Financial institution used by company has delays in processing payments.


Review plans.

Prepare recovery teams.

Hold status update meeting.

Activate core Crisis Team.

Assess priority of business processes.

Assess critical staff needs.

Activate contingency plans.

Update Incident Action Plan.

Issue internal and external communications.

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Assess priority of business processes.

Assess critical staff needs.

Activate contingency plans.

Update Incident Action Plan.

Issue internal and external communications.

Assess priority of business processes.

Assess critical staff.

Activate Plans.

Identify impacts.

Update Incident Action Plan.

Issue internal and external communications.

The sample pandemic exercise above is highly simplified and requires you to build it based on your organization and its critical functions.  We hope this “straw man” helps you in your exercise development.  If you need help, contact me at [email protected].

About MHA: MHA Consulting, with its’ decade-long track record, is a proven leader in business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, IT best practices and data center moves and relocations.  Everyday, MHA helps protect trillions of dollars of global-market assets and top companies around the world rely on MHA services for the continuity of their business.  For more information on how MHA can help you, contact Michael Herrera at [email protected].

Michael Herrera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHA. In his role, Michael provides global leadership to the entire set of industry practices and horizontal capabilities within MHA. Under his leadership, MHA has become a leading provider of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services to organizations on a global level. He is also the founder of BCMMETRICS, a leading cloud based tool designed to assess business continuity compliance and residual risk. Michael is a well-known and sought after speaker on Business Continuity issues at local and national contingency planner chapter meetings and conferences. Prior to founding MHA, he was a Regional VP for Bank of America, where he was responsible for Business Continuity across the southwest region.

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