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Annual Disaster Workshop Promotes All-Hazards Preparedness in Southeast and Caribbean Region

JUNE 10, 2024 — Last month, roughly 80 attendees gathered over three days for the Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) Annual Disaster Workshop. The workshop, held virtually and in-person at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL, kicked off with presentations focused on NOAA Line Offices’ capabilities before, during, and after disasters. Participants learned about NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations’s flights directly into storms to gather crucial, high-altitude data; the National Sea Grant Program’s on-the-ground community work; the National Weather Service’s national, regional, and localized structures and support tools; the National Ocean Service’s marine navigational and port recovery work; the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service’ satellite system support; and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s fishery disaster response timeline.

Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) Annual Disaster Workshop attendees at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville.
Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) Annual Disaster Workshop attendees at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. Image credit: NOAA.

Workshop sessions continued with a focus on “Stories from the Field,” where attendees learned from partners how NOAA tools and services are being utilized day-to-day to support disaster preparation, response, recovery, and resilience. The National Weather Service and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reflected on past incidents such as Hurricanes Ian and Dorian, the capsize of the M/V Golden Ray cargo vessel, and the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources described the process of creating their Post-Disaster Recovery Guides. The University of Georgia’s Defense Community Resilience Program detailed their Mayport Resilience Project, which participants were later able to see first-hand during a workshop field trip. The Nature Conservancy in Georgia concluded the workshop’s first day with discussions on their state’s coastal climate adaptation work. All presentations are available on the workshop’s website.

On day two, participants exercised a Category 4 hurricane directly hitting the Jacksonville area. Small groups worked through preparedness, response, and recovery modules and reiterated how NOAA tools could support decisions throughout these phases. The workshop concluded with participants visiting the USCG’s Mayport and JAXPort sites. Attendees provided positive feedback overall and SECART is already looking ahead to its 2025 workshop.

Last updated Monday, June 17, 2024 4:28am PDT