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To support and enhance the state’s preparedness by improving the job knowledge, skills and professionalism of the state’s first responders and other emergency management professionals.


TDEM offers a diverse curriculum of emergency management and hazardous materials training for Texas emergency responders, as well as state, local and regional officials and volunteer organizations active in disasters.

The following are state and federal websites listing courses that are used by our agency. These courses are available to both internal and external customers.

Preparing Texas – Students can browse, register for and manage their classes here. Search the TDEM catalog of over 1,000 courses available both in and out of the state.

FEMA – Emergency Management Institute (EMI)  Courses, schedules, programs and independent study training available through EMI.

Professional Development Series  Includes seven EMI independent study courses that provide a well-rounded set of fundamentals for those in the
emergency management profession.

National Preparedness Course Catalog  Courses for first responders.

Training Registrar: (512) 377-0011

Training and Exercise Planning Workshops

The creation of effective capabilities-based exercise programs begins with a multi-year Training and Exercise Plan (TEP), which establishes overall exercise program priorities and outlines a multi-year schedule of training and exercise activities designed to address those priorities and validate core capabilities.  The Training and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW) provides a collaborative workshop environment for Whole Community stakeholders to engage in the creation of the TEP.  The TEPW also serves as a forum to coordinate training and exercise activities across organizations in order to maximize the use of resources and prevent duplication of effort.

TEPW Purpose

The purpose of the TEPW is to use the guidance provided by elected and appointed officials to identify and set exercise program priorities and develop a multi-year schedule of training and exercise events to meet those priorities.  At the TEPW, stakeholders draw on jurisdiction-specific threats and hazards, identified areas for improvement, core capabilities, external requirements, and accreditation standards or regulations to develop or update the Multi-year TEP.  In this way, the TEPW establishes the strategy and structure for an exercise program and sets the foundation for the planning, conduct, and evaluation of individual exercises.

Link Factors to Core Capabilities

Once participants have developed a comprehensive list of all factors for consideration, they link the factors to core capabilities.  Core capabilities are distinct critical elements necessary to achieve the specific mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.  By linking each factor to one or more core capabilities, participants can identify and prioritize the most common core capabilities.  This process helps identify the areas most in need of attention. FEMA provides an updated list of core capabilities at

Core Capability Development Sheets can be found at

Establish Exercise Program Priorities

Exercise program priorities are the strategic, high-level priorities that guide the overall exercise program.  These priorities inform the development of exercise objectives, ensuring individual exercises evaluate and assess core capabilities in a coordinated and integrated fashion.  Working from both the factors to consider and core capabilities list, participants identify a manageable number of program priorities.

Develop a Multi-year Schedule

After setting exercise program priorities, TEPW participants build a draft multi-year schedule that outlines the exercises and associated training events that will address the exercise program priorities.  Workshop participants focus on the following tasks:

  • Identify Potential Exercises.  Identify potential exercises for inclusion in the multi-year schedule, including pre-planned exercises, standing exercise requirements, and additional exercises to address program priorities.
  • Identify Training Opportunities.  Identify training opportunities to support specific exercises, address areas for improvement or capability gaps, or meet training requirements.
  • Update the Exercise Schedule.  Update the calendar with exercises and training events that will enhance collaboration and address the exercise program priorities.  Participants should focus on updating the current exercise schedule and identifying exercises that could benefit from collaboration.

The training opportunities and exercise schedule developed by TEPW participants, in addition to exercise program priorities, are they key components of the Multi-year TEP.  TEPs should reflect a progressive planning approach that improves core capabilities through a series of exercises that involves an increasing level of complexity over time.  The schedule should list the proposed training and exercises to be conducted over the ensuing three years, if possible. For exercises held in the first year, approximate dates should be available.  For second and third year schedules, tentative dates may be used.

Workshop Participants

TEPW participants are Whole Community stakeholders who provide input to exercise program priorities and the development of the Multi-year TEP.  This group should include representatives from Federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal government, as appropriate; the private-sector; and nongovernmental organizations.  Participant responsibilities for TEPW preparation, conduct, and follow-up are listed in the following sections.