Posts tagged with

Natural Disasters

Disaster Preparedness 101: What is Continuity Planning, and Why Does it Matter?

Posted Wed, 07/17/2019 - 10:05
By Alyson Finn

The government can’t stop working just because of an emergency. This means that federal agencies need to be prepared, with plans that account for every situation, to ensure our jobs always get done. This is called comprehensive continuity planning. 

Abandoned and Derelict Vessels: A Side Effect of Natural Disasters

Posted Thu, 05/23/2019 - 17:26
By Vicki Loe, Office of Response and Restoration

As a NOAA scientific support coordinator for Alaska with OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, Catherine Berg is used to the pollution removal process following an oil or chemical spill. But soon after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, Catherine learned that her response skills would soon be needed to address the thousands of abandoned and derelict vessels scattered on or near the coast, many a potential source of marine pollution, as fuel and other chemicals made their way into the marine environment.

When is the Atlantic Hurricane Season?

Posted Fri, 05/10/2019 - 15:27
By Charlie Henry, Office of Response and Restoration

“When is hurricane season?”

That question was posed by Ernesto Morales with the NOAA Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in San Juan, Puerto Rico at a recent preparedness workshop. Officially, the Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from the first day of June through the last day of November each year – but Ernesto wasn’t looking for the official response.

‘There is Nothing Gained by the Second Kick of a Mule’ and Failure to Prepare for Disasters

Posted Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:19
By Charlie Henry, Office of Response and Restoration

Preparing for a disaster isn’t that different from preparing for a sporting event or just about any activity in which planning benefits from past experience. We learn from past events and apply that knowledge to future events — or we at least like to believe that we truly do learn and make better future decisions from experience.

National Ocean Service Continues to Provide Recovery Support in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

Posted Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:59
By Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

In December, NOAA received its second FEMA Recovery Support Mission Assignment to enable “U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Coral Reef Emergency Response and Restoration for Sustainable Ocean Economies, Food Security, and Storm Surge Mitigation.” In the aftermath of major storm events such as the 2017 hurricane season, NOAA often holds a seat at the table during mission assignments for federal natural resource recovery. Reef systems in these territories are vital to the ecosystem, mitigating damages to coastlines from waves and storm surge.

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Emergency Management Planning Specialist Kim Albins

Posted Thu, 01/31/2019 - 13:00

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 Kim Albins, emergency management planning specialist for OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program.

The Disaster Preparedness Program Celebrates its First Year!

Posted Mon, 11/26/2018 - 18:23

The OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program is one! Established in November of 2017, the DPP has made great progress in a small amount of time toward its mission to prepare the National Ocean Service and its partners to respond to and recover from pollution events and natural disasters. In this past year, the DPP developed a foundational strategic plan, expanded partnerships, and most importantly, worked closely with NOS staff and partners to improve our preparedness and response culture.

OR&R Fills Role within FEMA for Natural Disaster Response

Posted Fri, 11/16/2018 - 15:34
By Vicki Loe, Office of Response and Restoration

When a natural disaster strikes that is so severe that local and state governments together cannot provide the necessary resources, it’s declared a national disaster. During these disasters, the federal government steps in to provide resources — through both response support, the use of federal programs, and supplies. When a national disaster is declared, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the official advisor to the U.S. president — coordinating the activation and implementation of the Federal Response Plan.

Go with the (Lava) Flow: OR&R Software Team Learns About Volcanic Hazmat Response

Posted Wed, 11/14/2018 - 14:06
By Kristen Faiferlick, Office of Response and Restoration

OR&R works with partners all over the U.S. to respond to all kinds of hazardous material (hazmat) emergencies. We’re always excited to learn from our partners about how they handle hazmat situations, from oil spills to hurricanes … and even lava flows.

Hurricane Response: An Overview of OR&R’s On-the-Ground Efforts during Florence
By Katie Krushinski and Frank Csulak, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.dillon Wed, 10/10/2018 - 16:42

During the first week of September, Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 hurricane still located hundreds of miles offshore, was setting its sights to make landfall somewhere along the North Carolina-South Carolina coast. While some residents waited to see exactly where its path would lead, others decided to heed warnings issued by the governor of North Carolina to evacuate their low-lying coastal homes. As impact became imminent, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) began tracking the storm’s path and intensity.