Exercise Scenarios

In order to have a successful exercise, objectives must be firmly established well before an exercise scenario is selected. These predetermined objectives drive the exercise, and the scenario should support those objectives. Only after specific elements and capabilities have been identified for the exercise can you begin to construct a scenario that will guide participants to fulfill these objectives.

Fifteen all-hazards National Planning Scenarios have been designated by the Federal interagency community.  The scenarios serve as the foundation for the development of homeland security tasks, target capabilities, and standards and performance metrics against which capabilities and tasks will ultimately be measured. The scenario-derived capabilities and standards serve as a basis for assessing national preparedness; help guide Federal preparedness assistance to State, local, and tribal governments; and assist in development of national exercises and training programs.

National Planning Scenarios:
1. Improvised Nuclear Device (IND)
2. Aerosolized Anthrax
3. Pandemic Influenza
4. Plague
5. Blister Agent
6. Toxic Industrial Chemical
7. Nerve Agent
8. Chlorine Tank Explosion
9. Major Earthquake
10. Major Hurricane
11. Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD)
12. Improvised Explosive Device (IED)
13. Food Contamination
14. Foreign Animal Disease (FAD)
15. Cyber Attack

These scenarios are an integral component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) capabilities-based approach to implementing the Presidential Policy Directive 8 on National Preparedness (which recently replaced the Homeland Security Presidential Directive [HSPD]-8).