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FEMA to involve government, private sector and nonprofits in a national disaster readiness drill

FEMA says it will conduct the 2018 National Level Exercise for the whole community, inviting government agencies, private sector and non-profit organizations, and individuals to participate in the biennial exercise April 30 – May 11.

The National Level Exercise will test lessons learned from the unprecedented 2017 hurricane season across all levels of government and the private sector.

“The National Level Exercise provides an opportunity for those living in vulnerable areas to participate by understanding their risk and taking action to prepare now,”  FEMA Administrator Brock Long was quoted as saying in a news release.. “Resiliency goes beyond just strengthening infrastructure, it is ensuring that citizens, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments have the tools and skill sets necessary to reduce the impact of future disasters.”

The 2018 National Level Exercise will test federal, state, and local governments’ ability to respond to catastrophic incidents; Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and the District of Columbia will join departments and agencies across the federal government for this exercise.

The event will be based on a mid-Atlantic hurricane scenario, where a major hurricane makes landfall near Hampton Roads, causing severe damage to homes and businesses. The scenario will include power outages and cascading effects to critical infrastructure systems, impacting communications, transportation, water, wastewater and hospitals.

This exercise also represents ongoing engagement with the private sector and infrastructure to test FEMA’s coordination through all levels of government in exercise play, from engagement with the National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC), to the regional level with FEMA Region III’s Regional Business Emergency Operations Center (RBEOC), and the state level with our state partners’ State Business Emergency Operations Centers.

The private sector plays an invaluable role in helping communities respond to and recover from disasters, and the exercise ie expected to empower FEMA to work closely with those organizations and strengthen our partnerships for future events.

The 2018 National Level Exercise is the first exercise of its kind following the release of FEMA’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The exercise supports the three goals of the Strategic Plan: build a culture of preparedness, increase readiness for potential catastrophic events, and reduce the complexity of FEMA.  This exercise provides an opportunity for individuals to join with FEMA and prepare for the 2018 hurricane season.

By congressional mandate, the National Level Exercise represents the culmination of the two-year National Exercise Program cycle, and is designed to educate and prepare participants for potential catastrophic events.

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