Disaster Preparedness Program Hosts Virtual NOS Hurricane Preparedness Summit
MAY 18, 2020 — On April 23, the National Ocean Service (NOS) held a virtual Hurricane Preparedness Summit in preparation for the 2020 hurricane season. The summit focused on hurricane readiness in the midst of a pandemic.
The Summit was kicked off by the Acting NOAA Administrator, Dr. Neil Jacobs; the Acting NOS Assistant Administrator, Nicole LeBoeuf; the Office of Response and Restoration Director, Scott Lundgren; and Director of the Disaster Response Center, Charlie Henry. Together they helped set the tone by highlighting the challenges and opportunities that NOS may face when responding to a hurricane during a pandemic. The conference also included presentations from the National Weather Service (NOS), the U.S. Public Health Service, and others, including representatives from each of the NOS program offices. Throughout the Summit, each presenter focused on investigating how NOS is changing its posture from last year’s hurricane season, what lessons we have learned and are being implemented, how pandemic restrictions are being addressed, response posture during shelter-in-place/telework, and actions needed to protect people and facilities in hurricane-prone locations with the added threat of a pandemic.
The Summit wrapped up with closing remarks from Captain Christian Rathke, U.S. Public Health Service, and Kate Wheelock, Disaster Preparedness Program Chief. Looking ahead, NOS will continue to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, and expand our path forward as we simultaneously deal with the impacts of COVID-19.