Planning, Training & Exercise

Planning and Exercise Cycle

The Preparedness Cycle

The Preparedness Cycle is an important organizational tool that is comprised of five phases: preparedness, prevention, response, recovery and mitigation. There is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising and evaluating emergency preparedness activities that allows organizations to increase their overall capacity and resiliency to experience and recover from any type of disaster.


Planning for emergencies ensures that emergency services, local authorities and other organizations better communicate and coordinate efforts, improving disaster response and post-disaster recovery. Federal, state, and local planning provides safety and security for the public under threat of a full spectrum of potential disasters.

Section 29C of the Iowa Code provides the authority and lists the responsibilities of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the county emergency management commissions to plan for emergencies. In addition, the following federal laws and regulations shape emergency planning: Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act; Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; Criteria published by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s radiological emergency response plans.

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Training prepares state and local first responders to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from a variety of emergency situations. HSEMD has worked with its many partners in the delivery of courses to thousands of responders at all levels of government throughout the state. Click here to learn about available training.

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Exercises are designed to test the ability of participants to respond to terrorism incidents and natural disasters, how to use equipment, and also test skills learned through planning and training. HSEMD conducts, participates in, and/or supports many exercises each year.

The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is a capabilities- and performance-based exercise which provides a standardized policy, methodology, and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. Adherence to HSEEP policy and guidance ensures that exercise programs conform to established best practices and helps provide unity and consistency of effort for exercises at all levels of government. Visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website for more information on HSEEP, inlcuding HSEEP terminology and frequently asked questions.


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7900 Hickman Road,
Suite 500
Windsor Heights, IA 50324

515.725.3231  515.725.3260 FAX
Business Hours:
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