CDPH - Emergency Preparedness Office


Welcome to the California Statewide Medical and Health Exercise (SWMHE) program. The California Statewide Medical and Health Exercise is sponsored by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA). This program is designed to help healthcare, public health agencies, and their partners exercise their response to unusual health events that may challenge their facilities, personnel, and impact the communities they serve.

If your organization is new to the program, please take a few minutes to get familiar with the website. All the areas of the website can be accessed from the home page (

We recommend that you start the process by planning with your facility/agency/organization’s emergency preparedness planning team or committee to determine your level of participation in the program. Then ask yourself, what are your objectives for participating in the program (e.g., training? tabletop? full scale exercise? participating with your local jurisdiction? conducting a drill for new staff members?) and what do you need to accomplish?

The figure above outlines some recommended first steps for planning at your facility/agency/organization. There are also some helpful links below to additional resources:

SWMHE Frequently Asked Questions
This document responds to feedback received each year from participants. Common questions include ‘can I change the suggested scenario?’ and ‘when are the materials released for each year?’


Customizing the SWMHE Webcasts

The links below offer short videos to help local planners customize objectives, scenarios, the Master Scenario Events List (MSEL), actor cards, and to determine the public health role in each year’s exercise.

  1. Customizing the Objectives:
  2. Changing the Scenario:
  3. MSEL Actor Cards:
  4. The Role of Public Health:
2016 SWMHE Webinar

This webinar outlined tips for customizing SWMHE templates, and included a Q&A portion at the end of the webinar.

2015 SWMHE / SoCal READI Video
This video showcases the regional exercise planning efforts of Southern California in 2015 as part of the 2015 SWMHE program.