FEMA National Level Exercise Planning: Opportunity for Local Health Departments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct their biennial National Level Exercise (NLE) to test and evaluate the capability of the nation to respond and recover, in a coordinated and unified manner, to a catastrophic incident. This year’s effort will focus on a catastrophic hurricane impacting the National Capital Region. Themes for the exercise include protective actions, sustained response with recovery planning, continuity of operations, and longer term power outage consequence management.

The NLE will take place in 2018 and planning is currently underway. As such, FEMA is currently engaging state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) and private sector partners in the planning for the exercise. Opportunities to participate and shape the exercise include assisting in developing a realistic exercise scenario, educating other sectors on disaster plans and protocols, validating untested protocols during the exercise, providing realism to exercise play by participating in the simulation cell, and examining cross sector dependencies. Any SLTT partner that would like to be involved in the planning effort should contact FEMA at NLE@fema.dhs.gov to be included into the appropriate working group for the exercise.

NACCHO is monitoring the development of the NLE and plans to share information relevant for local health departments. Please contact NACCHO’s Preparedness Team at preparedness@naccho.org with any questions.

About Katie Dwyer

Katie Schemm Dwyer is a Director in NACCHO's Preparedness Division. Her work focuses on supporting local health departments strengthen public health preparedness systems through governance, coordination and liaison with federal preparedness organizations, policy, and program management.

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