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Table 1 Descriptive Characteristics of Participating Health Departments

From: Designing and conducting tabletop exercises to assess public health preparedness for manmade and naturally occurring biological threats

Region Size of Population* Agent Tested Length in Hours Facilitator Involvement** Number of Participants
Midwest medium novel 8.0 moderate 22
Midwest large pandemic flu 6.0 active 21
Midwest medium smallpox 3.0 moderate 17
Northeast large smallpox 2.0 limited 5
Northeast medium plague 3.0 limited 20
Northeast medium smallpox 3.0 active 8
Northeast medium anthrax 3.5 active 8
Northeast small smallpox 3.0 limited 12
South medium smallpox 5.0 moderate 12
South medium pandemic flu 6.0 moderate 23
South medium pandemic flu 6.0 active 44
South medium smallpox 3.0 moderate 15
South medium smallpox 5.0 limited 14
South medium botulism 6.0 moderate 23
South medium botulism 5.0 moderate 13
South large botulism 2.0 moderate 18
South small pandemic flu 5.0 active 16
South small novel 8.0 moderate 20
South large plague 3.0 limited 13
South small novel 8.0 moderate 11
South small botulism 5.0 limited 26
South large smallpox 8.0 moderate 15
West medium smallpox 4.0 active 15
West medium smallpox 4.0 active 16
West small smallpox 4.0 active 15
West medium smallpox 4.0 active 17
West medium smallpox 4.0 active 15
West large smallpox 4.0 active 11
West large smallpox 4.0 active 23
West medium plague 3.0 limited 11
West large smallpox 4.0 active 14
  1. *< 100,000 = small, 100,000–1,000,000 = medium, > 1,000,000 = large;
  2. **Mild involvement-most of exercises was role played by participants, with very little intervention or direction from facilitators; Moderate involvement-most of exercises was role played or issue discussion, with the facilitator inserting additional probes and ensuring the discussion stayed on track; Active-most of the exercise was more discussion based, with facilitator asking questions or identifying issues that were subsequently discussed.