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One thing that can be helpful is to have a scenario that provides a framework for the exercises. Real world scenarios seem to help participants relate more directly to the exercises. For instance, a situation like that caused by Hurricane Irene caused long term loss of power and brought flooding danger to many areas. It makes it clear to people why they are undertaking the exercise when presented in this manner. Also, when everyone understands what they are trying to accomplish, it makes it easier to verify the success (or problem areas) of the exercise. Make objectives clear, and they are more likely to be met. And when objectives aren't met, evaluate why, and correct the issue.