FEMA FACT SHEET – MAY 12, 2020 Exercise Starter Kit for Workshop on Reconstituting Operations

FEMA has developed an Exercise Starter Kit with sample documents your organization can use to conduct your own planning workshop on returning to full operations. Suggested discussion questions build upon reconstitution planning principles and the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.

About the Exercise Starter Kit

FEMA maintains a series of Exercise Starter Kits as part of the National Exercise Program designed to help organizations facilitate their own exercises, such as workshops and tabletop exercises, to examine their readiness for a range of threats and hazards. This particular kit is designed to help organizations across the whole community facilitate their own conversations in a virtual workshop format around planning considerations for reconstituting operations during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Exercise Starter Kit includes a sample facilitator guide and sample conduct slides. These materials are designed to be adapted and customized for your own needs. 

The workshop materials build upon relevant White House guidance for employers included in the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again and a FEMA fact sheet, “Planning Considerations for Organizations in Reconstituting Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

This workshop, which is intended to be guided by a facilitator within your own organization, provides a framework to assess your current status and begin planning to reconstitute operations. Reconstitution is the process by which organizations resume full operations. However, each organization is unique and should establish its own criteria for successful reconstitution. Reconstituting operations following the COVID-19 pandemic will require a phased approach that results in restoration of full organization functionality but may leverage non-traditional and flexible work arrangements that can be adapted based on current public health guidance and local needs.

The suggested discussion questions focus on four discussion themes: People, Facilities, Messaging & Communications, and Resources & Logistics. The desired outcome from the workshop is a roadmap for a functional reconstitution plan tailored to your organization’s unique needs.

Using the Exercise Starter Kit Materials Review Relevant Materials

1. Start by reviewing the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.

2. Review the FEMA fact sheet, “Planning Considerations for Organizations in Reconstituting Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” 

3. Review and customize the sample facilitator guide and conduct slides to plan a workshop on reconstituting operations for your organization.


The Exercise Starter Kit materials are designed around the following suggested objectives for your workshop:

  • Assess actions needed to safely return to full operations according to appropriate time-phased guidelines.
  • Determine how plans, policies and practices may need to be adapted to safeguard the workforce during reconstitution, consistent with appropriate COVID-19 guidance and recommended community mitigation measures.
  • Identify potential mitigating measures or solutions to remaining risks or challenges that adversely impact our ability to perform all functions, including providing services to customers and the public.