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About the National Ocean Service Incident Management Team

A boat.
Image credit: NOAA.

The National Ocean Service Incident Management Team is comprised of staff from across all the NOS program and staff offices. The team operates year-round with a primary focus on effective and efficient preparedness, situational awareness, and incident coordination for any disaster—from hurricanes to cyber attacks—that may threaten NOS’s missions, personnel, and/or infrastructure. 

Led by the Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program, Incident Management Team members also support continuous improvement of plans and processes, training activities, and preparedness exercises. This ensures that the Incident Management Team and the National Ocean Service maintains a robust group of knowledgeable, trained, and experienced emergency response personnel. 

Incident Coordination 

The team works to ensure that NOS and our close partners can carry out its core mission responsibilities under any conditions, focusing on the preparedness and resilience of our personnel, missions, and infrastructure.

For example, when a disaster strikes, the Iteam is activated for incident coordination and situational awareness reporting throughout the duration of the response.

During a disaster event, team members report program office information pertaining to mission impacts, personnel support, or infrastructure damage. Within the operational tempo, the information collected is also reported, as appropriate, to NOAA’s Homeland Security Program Office and NOS leadership.

This process for collecting situational awareness is critical to ensuring that NOS and NOAA leadership understand the totality of the event, have a common understanding of emerging priorities, and can make informed decisions about how to keep the NOS workforce safe while continuing to execute our missions.

Continuous Improvement

Once a disaster has passed, the NOS Incident Management Team focuses on lessons learned and improvements necessary to more effectively address and reduce impacts from future events. 

An After Action Report is developed describing successes, lessons learned, and recommended areas for improvement. 

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Incident Management Team please contact OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program Chief Kate Wheelock (

Last updated Sunday, March 28, 2021 8:43pm PDT