Talk to federal disaster preparedness and response agencies like FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Guard and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration about training, and one thing comes to the surface repeatedly: Experiential training is the gold standard.
To prepare their employees to do the work of saving lives in a disaster response situation, these first responders emphasize exercises that put their employees through their paces. But what happens when a pandemic prevents those employees from coming together physically to do just that?
“I don’t think there’s any substitute for actually exercising a plan,” USCG Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, who took over as commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area last month, told Federal News Network. “We’re doing as much as we can virtually to ensure readiness, and we are ready, and we’re going to continue to be ready.”