Tuesday, July 8, 2008

After Action Report - Starting Point and Key To Future Success

Are you looking for a template to complete an after action report for your exercise?

The following after action template that is available from US Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) and can apply to exercises internationally.

Take a look at the HSEEP After Action Report/Improvement Plan

At first, it might seem like a lot to do, but it really is not.

As you probably know, key to after action reports are just that "after actions", steps that can be taken to learn from mistakes and/or areas for improvement. All too often folks I work with, document or understand the lessons, but might not implement the recommendations.

For example, at an exercise that I recently participated in, there were busses to evacuate people in wheelchairs. The coordinators of the exercise assumed that each bus was a normal sized bus that could handle 30 people. The wheelchair equipped buses used for the exercise only handled 8 people. A pretty big lesson learned, as a significant amount of trips were required, which in turn delayed the evacuation. So, what was done was the special needs was changed from wheelchairs to deaf/hearing impaired, which did not require needing to address the limited bus space issue. Probably not the best solution. And potentially not something documented in the after action report and something that needed to be addressed.

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