National Level Exercise Roundtable

Emergency planners, responders, and receivers in the United States are preparing for an earthquake similar to – or even larger than – the one that just ravaged Japan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE 11), May 16-19, will address this concern and help the nation prepare and train for a similar disaster situation. Specifically, this exercise will simulate a major earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the site of the largest earthquake in U.S. history (1811-1812). Participants will include federal, regional, state, tribal, local, and private-sector entities in the eight states (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, and Missouri) covering four Federal Emergency Management Agency regions (FEMA regions IV, V, VI, and VII), plus Washington, D.C.

Bruce Piringer, Instructor at the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute, and Col. (US Army, ret.) Fenton “Dutch” Thomas, Chief Operating Officer at My LifePlan Inc., join Kay Goss, Senior Principal and Senior Advisor for Emergency Management and Continuity Programs at SRA International and member of the DomPrep 40, in discussing the benefits of federal, state, and local cooperation when preparing for catastrophic events. Emergency planners understand that preparing for such events and scaling down for smaller events is much easier than preparing for small events and trying to expand those plans to fit a larger disaster scenario. Resources – allocation, management, and flow – are one of the biggest concerns for planners. For example, the Mississippi River flows through the center of the New Madrid Fault. What avenues are available for moving resources if those resources are located on the other side of the Mississippi?

Choosing the right staging area, pre-deploying resources so they are accessible during a crisis, planning for power outages, and expecting communication problems are all part of the planning process. Recent weather events – ice storms, floods, and earthquakes – have led to a modestly improved level of preparedness in at least some areas of the country, but that is not enough. NLE 11 will offer a full-scale multi-jurisdictional exercise, based on a worst-case scenario, that will make the nation as a whole better prepared for a major catastrophe of any type – natural or manmade. This type of planning – going beyond the government’s current capabilities – is what Craig Fugate, Administrator of FEMA, calls the “maximum of maximums.”

Click to listen to NLE Roundtable Interview.

Sponsored by

HDT Global

Kay Goss
Kay C. Goss

Kay Goss has been the president of World Disaster Management since 2012. She is the former senior assistant to two state governors, coordinating fire service, emergency management, emergency medical services, public safety, and law enforcement for 12 years. She then served as the Associate Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director for National Preparedness, Training, Higher Education, Exercises, and International Partnerships (presidential appointee, U.S. Senate confirmed unanimously). She was a private sector government contractor for 12 years at the Texas firm Electronic Data Systems as a senior emergency manager and homeland security advisor and SRA International’s director of emergency management services. She is a senior fellow at the National Academy for Public Administration and serves as a nonprofit leader on the Board of Advisors for DRONERESPONDERS International and for the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management. She has also been a graduate professor of Emergency Management at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas for 16 years, İstanbul Technical University for 12 years, the MPA Programs Metropolitan College of New York for five years, and George Mason University. She has been a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) for 25 years and a Featured International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) CEM Mentor for five years, and chair of the Training and Education Committee for six years, 2004-2010.



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