NOAA and Partners Hold Heat-Focused Tabletop Exercise
DEC. 19, 2022 — 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 first was held in Las Vegas on Dec. 5-6, 2022. The planning team was comprised of many NOAA Line Office representatives and led by Katie Krushinski, with OR&R's Disaster Preparedness Program.
This exercise, called “Withering Daisy” (in reference to the Electric Daisy Carnival event that occurs in that area each year), focused on three objectives:
- Discuss and create a suite of intervention actions aimed to reduce area-specific extreme heat exposure and vulnerabilities. Actions should include near-term opportunities that address heat impacts now, as well as longer-term opportunities that address heat impacts in the coming years to decades.
- Identify area-specific needs that would support future planning and ways that NOAA can contribute.
- Discuss and identify effective communication avenues to reach vulnerable populations with extreme heat-related information.
The exercise was well attended by many local stakeholders in the Vegas area, as well as throughout various levels of government.
The planning team is currently reviewing all of the notes and feedback to ensure a comprehensive after-action report, which is expected to be available in early March 2023.