NOAA Disaster Resilience

NOAA has significant and diverse responsibilities before, during, and after disasters.  Those responsibilities and capabilities differ among NOAA’s Line Offices (LOs), and there is not a great deal of understanding among LOs of what each can (or must) provide in terms of assets and expertise. 

SECART has been working with NOAA’s Disaster Response Center and offices and  partners in the Southeast and Caribbean region to improve the level of understanding and coordination across offices to better position NOAA to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.  It is important that NOAA offices can assist each other, and our partners, to maintain critical mission readiness. 

SECART held workshops in 2017, 2018 and 2019 which allowed NOAA offices to better understand each others’ capabilities and identify opportunities for improvement in internal communication and coordination.  These three workshops offered “table top”exercise-based exploration of roles and responsibilities using a scenario of a hurricane moving up the east coast. The results of these workshops are captured in reports linked below.

Workshop participants agreed that a “guide” to NOAA roles, responsibilities, and resources related to disasters would itself be a valuable asset for the region.  The purpose of the Guide to Integrated NOAA Disaster Resilience in the Southeast & Caribbean is to serve as a resource for improving communication and coordination among NOAA offices and partners in the Southeast and Caribbean region as related to disaster management.  (see below).

In 2020, we had planned a workshop for late March in Charleston, SC to use an earthquake scenario developed by the SC Emergency Management Division to explore roles and lines of communication.  This workshop, however, was cancelled because of the Coronavirus.
SECART plans to continue efforts to position NOAA to more effectively identify assets available to a wide range of disaster scenarios that could impact the SECART region, increasing NOAA responsiveness to disasters and improving our ability to quickly partner with and support any other Federal or state agencies leading response efforts.

Guide to NOAA Disaster Resilience

NOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) is pleased to make available the “Guide to Integrated NOAA Disaster Resilience in the Southeast and Caribbean”.  The purpose of the guide is to serve as a resource for improving communication and coordination among NOAA offices and partners in the Southeast and Caribbean region as related to disaster management.  The guide provides roles and responsibilities of, and contact information for, offices related to disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation/adaptation.

The idea for this guide originated during the series of disaster resilience workshops held in the region. We wish to thank the many people that provided information and reviewed previous drafts. In particular, we wish to thank Patrick Gregory (formerly with NOAA) and Merritt Ryan (formerly with the University of Miami) for their diligent work on the guide.

We hope that you find this resource useful.  Like any such guide, it will need updating.  Our hope is that you give it a look before the 2022 hurricane season, and after the season give us any feedback that you may have.  The feedback may be an update of contact information or suggestions of information that you wish it had contained.  Please send any feedback to


2020 Workshop - cancelled (COVID)


2019 Workshop
Following successful workshops (and active hurricane seasons) in 2017 and 2018, NOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) and the NOAA Disaster Preparedness Program convened a workshop 14-16 May 2019 in Charleston, SC to identify opportunities to improve NOAA’s disaster resilience in the region.
This year’s workshop focused on the “recovery” of NOAA offices, partners, and constituents following a disaster.  During this workshop, we 1) explored NOAA’s roles and responsibilities throughout the recovery phase of a disaster cycle; 2) determined the best ways we can work together to ensure that NOAA offices and partners have the capacity to recover in the wake of a disaster: and 3) refined the “Guide to NOAA Disaster Resilience in the Southeast and Caribbean” with the intent of completing that resource this year.

2019 Workshop Agenda
2019 Workshop Report

People sitting at tables
2019 Disaster Resilience Workshop


2018 Workshop
On 5-6 June 2018, NOAA staff and partners met at the Duvall County Emergency Operations Center, Jacksonville, FL, to conduct an “After Action Review” of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, including:

  • Compare 2017 Exercise Notes Against Actions Taken During These Hurricanes.
  • Identify NOAA Best Practices During These Major Hurricanes. 
  • Identify NOAA Lessons Learned During These Major Hurricanes. 
  • Recommend New NOAA Major Hurricane Response and/or Recovery Tasks Based on Irma/Maria Experiences.  
  • Incorporate Best Practices and Lessons Learned into the Resource Directory.  

2018 Workshop Report

people posing for group photo
2018 Emergency Repsonse Posture Workshop


2017 Workshop
Intended to enhance awareness and understanding of roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of NOAA offices in the region that are, or could be, applied to a disaster situation, SECART hosted the NOAA Emergency Response Posture Workshop in Charleston 13-15 June 2017.  Twenty-six participants, representing all NOAA Line Offices, took part in the three-day workshop.  Led by NOAA’s Disaster Response Center, the workshop included three training sessions (Environmental Response Management Application, Web Emergency Operations Center, and NOAA Response Asset Directory), overviews of office capabilities (related to planning, response and recovery), and discussions related to a tabletop exercise of a simulated hurricane striking the southeast.  Participants valued the enhanced awareness and new relationships, agreed to meet again in FY18, and agreed to develop a resource directory for the region.

2017 Workshop Agenda
2017 Workshop Report

people sitting at desks viewing projected image at front of room
2017 Emergency Response Posture Workshop