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Disaster Preparedness

For over 40 years of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery experience, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) knows that a truly effective preparedness posture requires constant vigilance and continuous improvement. The OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) was established in 2017 to prepare the National Ocean Service (NOS) and our partners to respond to and recover from pollution events and natural disasters.

Building on the activities of the Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC), the DPP utilizes and strengthens existing operational capabilities and knowledge to ensure that commerce, communities, and natural resources recover from disasters as quickly as possible.

The DPP is designed to provide disaster response and recovery training, exercises, lessons learned, and resources within NOAA and to our emergency response partners across the nation to ensure that we are in the best possible position to respond to coastal threats quickly, safely, and effectively. During natural or manmade disaster events, the DPP is essential in providing incident coordination to our NOS partners who have critical missions to deliver tide and current information, oil and chemical spill response, environmental and infrastructure damage assessment, habitat conservation and restoration planning, marine debris identification and removal, and navigation management.


Over the past decade, the Gulf of Mexico has faced both natural and human-caused disasters, including hurricanes, oil spills, tornadoes, droughts, harmful algal blooms, and wildfires. While we cannot prevent these severe events, we can reduce their impacts by helping to prepare federal, state, and local decision makers for a variety of hazards and threats.