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NOAA and Partners Hold Final Heat-Focused Tabletop Exercise

APRIL 17, 2023 — Extreme heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related illness and death in the United States, causing more fatalities in a typical year than hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, and floods. As climate change continues to increase the likelihood of weather extremes, the impacts of heat on communities—especially on their most vulnerable citizens—is likely to worsen.

NOAA and partners in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami, and Charleston, South Carolina, launched an 18-month project to help communities pinpoint local impacts of extreme heat. The pilot project, “Building Equitable Resilience to Extreme Heat,” will support state and local initiatives designed to reduce the negative health effects of extreme heat events, especially for disproportionately affected populations. 

As part of the overall project, each location will hold a tabletop exercise that is specifically designed for that location’s heat-related concerns. The last exercise in the series was held in Miami on Mar. 27-28, 2023. The planning team, led by OR&R's Disaster Preparedness Program, was comprised of many NOAA line office representatives and local Greater Miami area representatives.

This exercise, called “Magic City Meltdown,” focused on three objectives:

  • Better understand heat, heat risk, and populations most at risk in the Greater Miami area.
  • Identify and strengthen pathways of communication across and within organizations and community groups related to high heat ensuring effective communication to stakeholders.
  • Build on the existing Miami-Dade Extreme Heat Action Plan, elaborating solutions for short-term (one to three years) and longer term (10-15 years) heat actions that can occur at various social levels (individual, community, municipality, etc.).

The exercise was attended by many local stakeholders in the Greater Miami area, as well as throughout various levels of government.

The planning team is currently reviewing the notes and feedback to ensure a comprehensive after-action report, which is expected to be available in early July 2023.

Last updated Friday, April 21, 2023 6:43pm PDT