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Disaster Preparedness Program Completes 2020 Hurricane Season After-Action Report for the National Ocean Service

March 15, 2021 — Each year, the Disaster Preparedness Program leads the National Ocean Service Incident Management Team through a review of the previous hurricane season with respect to our personnel, missions, and infrastructure. The process helps NOS learn from the previous year and plan for the next. These lessons learned are collected into an After Action Report and include a plan for improvement.  

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season set a record for the most named storms and the most U.S. landfalls in a single season in 170 years of record keeping by the NOAA National Weather Service. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season occurred during the COVID-19 global pandemic creating additional challenges. Most NOAA staff were in a maximum telework posture and most field activities and operations had been put on hold. Knowing that the hurricane season would arrive on June 1, 2020 regardless, NOS offices with hurricane response missions began planning for responder personnel safety and logistical challenges working closely with operational partners across NOAA. NOS also conducted a virtual Hurricane Preparedness Summit to best position NOAA, NOS, and close partners for the 2020 hurricane season. NOAA staff living in hurricane prone areas also were at greater risk because of the dual threat of both devastating hurricanes and the pandemic, and our facilities were operating at minimum staffing.  

Despite these challenges and the record number of storms, NOS effectively prepared and responded. In total, seven items were identified for improvement and readiness for the 2021 hurricane season that will begin on June 1, 2021. The NOS 2020 Hurricane Season After-Action Report is for internal use only.  

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Last updated Sunday, March 28, 2021 3:48pm PDT