Agencies prepare for hurricane response

Earlier this month, the Department of Defense and their interagency partners began preparing for the 2013 hurricane season.

The annual drill was hosted by U.S. Army North at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where the participants rehearsed procedures to ensure a rapid, well-coordinated response to a hurricane. In the exercise, participants faced two hurricanes, one making landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi border and the other making landfall in the Norfolk, Virginia area.

The 200-plus participants included members of NORTHCOM and U.S. Army North, as well as 11 National Guard state adjutants general and representatives of several interagency and nongovernmental organizations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Coast Guard, American Red Cross, and the departments of Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Justice, also participated, as did representatives of the governments of Mexico and Canada.

Joe Girot, a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region IV in Atlanta, said the exercise promoted a better understanding of each organization’s capabilities, saying “It allows us to coordinate […] It’s a win-win situation for everyone participating in this exercise.”

According to Tom LaCrosse, director of defense support to civil authorities in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, close cooperation among agencies, as seen in the hurricane response drill, is critical in the current fiscal environment. According to LaCrosse, “no one organization has everything they need,” meaning whole-of-government and whole-of-community efforts are required.

For more information about hurricane response preparations, please follow the link below.
DoD, Interagency Rehearse Hurricane Response Procedures, American Forces Press Service

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