Disaster Preparedness Program 2020 Year in Review
By Kate Wheelock, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program
alyssa.dillon Fri, 11/20/2020 - 14:34

The year 2020 has certainly tested us all. It provided a wide and deep array of real-life events for us to address, respond to, and learn from. For the National Ocean Service (NOS) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP), our ability to maintain our emergency response focus and adapt to the constraints of physical distancing was tested. Here’s a short recap of some of the successes that the DPP and our partners accomplished during the trying conditions of fiscal year 2020 ...

Incident Responses for October 2020 alyssa.dillon Fri, 11/13/2020 - 16:23

Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment. This month OR&R responded to 15 incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents ...

Oily Killer of the Deep: the Mystery Oil Spill of San Mateo

Posted Fri, 10/30/2020 - 15:02
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

It was a dark and stormy night. A salty wind blew like ice and waves thundered beneath the Golden Gate Bridge as a storm broke on San Francisco. As the city slept, something sinister rose from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. In the morning the sea calmed and people resumed their daily habits. For awhile it seemed as if nothing were amiss — until the dead started to wash up on shore.

Earthquake Preparedness: Can Being Ready for One Disaster Better Prepare Us for Another?
By Savannah Turner, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.dillon Wed, 10/28/2020 - 15:24

Philosophers, spiritual leaders, poets, novelists, and a variety of other historical thinkers have long attempted to define the concept of wisdom. Research on the subject alludes to the wise as being decision makers who tend to possess humility, strong cognitive capacity, reflection and compassion. I am grateful for the sage in my life, my grandmother, who at 96 years old continues to be one of the most resilient individuals I have ever known. She has always said that being ready for one kind of disaster will inadvertently help us be better prepared for another. I think that adage is relevant for us all, regardless of whether you live in the Gulf and focus on hurricane preparedness, or live along the Cascadia subduction zone in Washington state. 

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Environmental Scientist Dan Hahn

Posted Fri, 10/23/2020 - 15:07
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

This feature is part of a monthly series profiling scientists and technicians who provide exemplary contributions to the mission of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). This month’s featured scientist is Dan Hahn, an environmental scientist in OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division.

Incident Responses for September 2020

Posted Mon, 10/12/2020 - 17:40

Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment. This month OR&R responded to 13 incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of September's notable incidents ...

Emergency Support Functions: Why are They Important?

Posted Fri, 10/09/2020 - 13:24
By Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program

Every disaster is different and can vary in size, severity, and damage. When a catastrophic disaster strikes, it can overwhelm the local and state governments to the point they cannot provide the necessary resources. During these disasters, the federal government steps in to provide help—through response support, the use of federal programs, resources, and supplies.

Research Advancing Pollution Response and Restoration in 2020

Posted Thu, 10/01/2020 - 11:29
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Marine pollution can happen anywhere human activities overlap with the ocean, so marine pollution science is a very diverse subject. Each year NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) scientists collaborate with leading experts on topics like coral reefs, environmental economics, endangered species, satellite technology, and many other subjects that intersect with pollution science. All of these studies have different goals, be it developing a new tool for tracking a spill or better understanding the impacts of pollution, but all advance OR&R’s ability to respond to, assess the impacts of, and restore the environment after oil spills and hazardous waste and marine debris pollution.