The State Emergency Management Exercise Program assists in developing, conducting and evaluating emergency preparedness exercises for local governments, state agencies, volunteer organizations and in certain situations, private enterprises.

The Office also focuses on exercising plans pertaining to natural hazards, including floods, fires, tornadoes, high winds and winter storms.  These exercises include all hazards with special emphasis on severe weather awareness, hazardous materials, and terrorism.

Exercises are designed to address the response, recovery, preparedness and mitigation phases of emergency management and have the ultimate goal of saving lives, minimizing property damage and reducing the impacts of these hazards on the state's environment and economy. OEM staff is available for technical review of written documents to assist counties and state agencies with the design and evaluation of emergency management exercises.

State and local jurisdictions and volunteer organizations are provided training and assistance in designing exercises to test their emergency plans. Cities and counties in South Dakota prepare for large and small-scale emergencies through comprehensive disaster exercise programs.

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