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Planning and Organization

The goal of the Planning and Organization Program is to support multidisciplinary, regional planning for the development of established capabilities that will ensure optimum response to emergency incidents in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and throughout the National Capital Region.

The Planning and Organization Program

Planning is an integral part of the capability building cycle.  It encompasses needs assessment, research, development, and evaluation.  The Planning Team works with the Finance and Logistics Program to assist in the development of equipment guidance and standards of use. The team also works with the Training and Exercise Program to develop training to improve the capabilities identified and exercises to test those capabilities.  This is part of the Evaluation process, which also includes the tracking of metrics identified in Capability Development Plans.

Planning and Organization Program Management

The Planning and Organization Program Manager works with other Program Managers to coordinate the creation of Capability Development Plans and related guides.  This includes gap analyses, literature reviews, stakeholder interviews, subject matter expert consultation, regular interface with all stakeholder agencies, and capability development workshops. The Program is also responsible for the development of the MDERS Annual Report, the MDERS Strategic Plan update, and other key documents, as well as maintaining the MDERS website,


The Planning and Organization Program coordinates multiple work groups of stakeholders and subject matter experts, which are an integral part of capability development. These groups provide the agency- and discipline-specific input to assist with gap analysis and needs assessments, which serve as the basis for writing capability development plans.  The team also reviews information found in after action report type documents from all stakeholder agencies following the responses to numerous large-scale incidents within the region as well as various planned events such as Presidential Inaugurations. The Planning Team works closely with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Disabilities, Access and Functional Needs (DFAN) workgroup and with Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) on developing planning tools for use in all planning efforts.

In addition to these work groups, input is sought from the Region V Emergency Preparedness Coalition, which includes representation from hospitals, critical healthcare facilities, EMS, public health, and emergency management.  The Maryland Department of Health (MDH), MDOD, MEMA, MIEMSS, and Maryland State Police (MSP), among others, provide state guidance and support for MDERS planning efforts.  MDERS staff also collaborate across the NCR through participation in Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) regional planning committees and initiatives, such as the annual NCR Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA).

 The Planning and Organization Staff

The Planning and Organization Staff consists of the Program Manager and three full time planners that are assigned and utilized as needed to participate in all of the various planning program activities.

Finance and Logistics

The goal of the Finance and Logistics Program is to develop, maintain, improve, and coordinate the fiscal, procurement, and resource management responsibilities of the MDERS staff and stakeholders.

The Finance and Logistics Program

Equipping and tracking assets is an integral part of the capability building cycle. The Finance and Logistics Program works with the Planning and Organization Program in the development of policies, procedures, guidance, and standards of use for all assets.  It also coordinates with the Training and Exercise Program for all necessary training and subsequent evaluation. The Program directs all purchases of equipment and supplies required to fulfill the capabilities being developed or enhanced. It also assists stakeholder agencies with sustainment planning to ensure the developed capabilities can be maintained.

Finance and Logistics Program Management

The Finance and Logistics Program Manager oversees the development of all grant-related administration documents, including Project Management Plans, Quarterly Status Reports, and Grant Closeout Reports. The Finance and Logistics Program executes or facilitates the purchase of equipment and resources to support the MDERS staff and its mission; tracks expenditures within all MDERS-related grants; and tracks all finances and submits for grant reimbursement on behalf of MIEMSS.


The Finance and Logistics Program works closely with the other MDERS Programs, stakeholders, and partners to identify and fulfill appropriate resource needs throughout the capability development process. The Program chairs several capability development work groups, including the Medical Cache Work Group and the High Threat Medicine Work Group, and coordinates between stakeholder representatives and subject matter experts to identify the most appropriate resource needs for each capability. The Finance and Logistics Program makes an effort to base all resource-need determinations on the principles of the respective capability, and not be influenced by legacy trends or specific brand preference.

Finance and Logistics Program Staff

The Finance and Logistics Program staff consists of the Program Manager, a Logistician who fulfills multiple responsibilities across both stakeholder counties, and a Financial Administrator who fulfills multiple accounting, budgetary, and procurement responsibilities.

Training and Exercise

The goal of the Training and Exercise Program is to establish and maintain and execute a effective training and exercise schedule to support the development and evaluation of targeted response capabilities for stakeholders in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

The Training and Exercise Program

The Training and Exercise Program is an integral part of the capability building cycle.  It leads the training, exercising, and evaluating phases of capability development and coordinates with other MDERS programs to assist in the planning, organizing and equipping phases.

Training and Exercise Program Management

There are four main components of Training and Exercise Program Management:


  1. Budget Management: Coordinates available funding and manages budget responsibilities.
  2. Training and Exercises: Oversees the development of a multi-year training and exercise plan that supports the development of stakeholder targeted response capabilities.  Exercises are conducted in a manner consistent with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) and ensure that as capabilities are developed, they are tested and evaluated in a manner that reflects the complexity of the current expected state of the capability.
  3. Monitoring and Reporting: Monitors Training and Exercise activities to ensure that program goals are met and actively participates in exercise development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.
  4. Improvement Planning: Ensures that the improvements identified in exercises or real-world incidents are communicated to appropriate stakeholders. The Program Manager works with MDERS program staff to track the improvement process and ensures the improvements are incorporated into future plans and exercises and evaluated to test the status of the upgraded capabilities. 

Training and Exercise Project Management

The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is an accepted national standard for planning, conducting, and evaluating exercise activities. MDERS ensures that all sponsored exercises follow HSEEP guidelines.  The primary components of the HSEEP project management process are:

  • Design and Development: Identify exercise objectives, design scenario, and design evaluation process.
  • Conduct: Conduct the exercise based upon injects provided by the exercise staff to the exercise players.
  • Evaluations: Evaluate exercise player performance against the standards identified in the targeted response capabilities.  The exercise planning team will then create a written evaluation report and an improvement plan.

Training and Exercise Program Personnel

The Training and Exercise Program has three assigned personnel – the Program Manager, the Training Coordinator, and the Exercise Coordinator.   The Program Manager oversees all MDERS training and exercise activities that include program and project management.  The Training Coordinator oversees, coordinates, and supports the delivery of MDERS-sponsored training initiatives and conferences. The Exercise Coordinator oversees the design, development, conduct and evaluation of MDERS-sponsored exercises.  To better serve our stakeholders, MDERS hired the Training Coordinator and the Exercise Coordinator during FY15 to foster the necessary focus in each area and better enable cost savings by conducting training and exercise initiatives using in-house SMEs instead of outside contractors.  Training and Exercise Program personnel also provide support to stakeholders who are planning, conducting, and evaluating their own training and exercise initiatives.