CTEH On the Scene: USCG Regional Hurricane Exercise in Houston
With practice, comes improvement. When Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008, it caused significant loss of life and millions of dollars in damage to local homes, businesses and critical infrastructure in the largest petrochemical complex in the Western Hemisphere. By participating in exercises, we can better prepare for severe weather events (and other types of incidents) and respond effectively when disaster strikes.
Recently, CTEH joined federal, state, and local agencies and industry partners in Houston, Texas for regional hurricane exercise. The two-day, full-scale exercise was hosted by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston to validate plans, enhance responder skill sets, and improve interoperability among stakeholders. CTEH controllers prepared for the exercises by reviewing emergency current plans and procedures, studying past after actions reports’ lessons learned and best practices, and engaginig with participating clients on exercise expectations.
The exercise simulated a Hurricane Ike level storm, including severe damage to infrastructure along the Houston Ship Channel. Simulated injects included life-saving emergencies, oil and chemical releases, wildlife impacts, security concerns, and logistical issues to challenge participants in preparation for the 2016 Hurricane Season. CTEH personnel also demonstrated our ability to provide real-time tracking (sometime called “blue force tracking”) of resources deployed over a three-county area.
Ray Meyer, Director of Global Preparedness and Crisis Management for CTEH commented, “This exercise provided CTEH a great opportunity to engage our federal, state, local, and private sector partners in a setting that enabled us to highlight our recently expanded incident management, training, and exercise design and delivery capabilities. We showed we can be part of a regional solution to preparedness as well as response and recovery.”
Want to see the CTEH team in action? Check out photos from the exercise drills below: