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“For Great Lakes’ Sake” Tabletop Exercise Enhances NOAA’s Readiness for Oil Spill Response in the Great Lakes

FEB. 22, 2022 – On the afternoons of February 8-10, 2022, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) partnered with the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team to hold a virtual tabletop exercise named “For Great Lakes’ Sake.” LT Rachel Pryor of the Emergency Response Division (ERD) co-hosted the first internal NOAA tabletop exercise in the Great Lakes along with DPP’s Emergency Management Specialist, Katie Krushinski. The goal of the exercise was to bring regional NOAA Great Lakes entities together to improve coordination, communication, and collaboration.

OR&R’s General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) software used to predict the possible route, or trajectory, of a pollutant in a body of water based on environmental parameters and oil behavior in open water. Image credit: NOAA

On the first afternoon, NOAA representatives in the Great Lakes region shared information about their offices, resources, and expertise related to oil spills. LT Pryor explained how an oil spill response progresses and demonstrated the types of products that would be developed in that situation. On the second afternoon, the exercise participants engaged in a facilitated discussion to determine the prioritization of regionally-based assets, resources, and capabilities. Participants had an opportunity on the third afternoon to discuss what went well and also identified areas for improvement.

All three days of the exercise were well attended with 36 exercise participants representing each of the NOAA Great Lakes offices, all NOAA line offices, and a large number of weather forecasters from the National Weather Service. The positive feedback received, coupled with the pending after-action report, will keep momentum focused on increasing preparedness across NOAA line offices and facilities in the Great Lakes. 

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Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:41pm PST