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Continuity of Operations (COOP) Exercise at the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center

APRIL 19, 2019 — On April 18, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Mobile held their annual Continuity of Operations (COOP) exercise at the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC).

Participants listen to instructor at front of room.
Participants in the Continuity of Operations (COOP) exercise. Image credit: NOAA.

Each year, Sector Mobile simulates a disaster that would require them to evacuate their normal facility, relocate, and resume mission operations. The exercise is designed to ensure the outlined processes and procedures work seamlessly as well as ensures the IT connectivity works across agencies.

This year, USCG members reported to their normal facility like any other day of work. They were then briefed about a hypothetical incoming hurricane. A team of approximately 50 USCG members activated and relocated to the DRC. The following four-hour exercise tested pre-developed plans and agreements for both USCG and NOAA. Although the After Action Report is in the process of being written, preliminary discussion revealed a successful exercise.

Those of us in the emergency management field know all too well that a plan that sits on the shelf and never gets tested is just a document. In order to be prepared, we must continually test and train our emergency plans so they become second nature in the time of a disaster.  

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Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:48pm PST