Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Leads Hurricane Preparedness Exercise with Cabinet Officials and Senior Administration Leaders

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On May 1, the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen served as the principal federal official for domestic incident management, leading a national hurricane preparedness and response exercise for Cabinet members and senior administration officials hosted by the White House National Security Council. The National Level Exercise (NLE) 2018 brings together more than 250 federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, private industry, and non-governmental and community organizations to test their emergency response to a simulated major incident. The NLE 2018 scenario involves a hurricane that makes landfall in the Mid-Atlantic region near Hampton Roads, VA.

Today’s Principals-level tabletop exercise was conducted in the Situation Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. and focused on the federal government’s roles and responsibilities to support survivors and state and local governments, recover from infrastructure failures, and overcome communication, logistics, and coordination challenges.

When a disaster hits, a matter of minutes could mean the difference between lives lost and lives saved,” said Secretary Nielsen. “As we have seen from last year’s historic hurricane season, establishing a national culture of preparedness at all levels of government is critical to mitigating the impact of disasters. Exercises like this bring together all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and private sector partners to deliver a coordinated and effective response.”

The exercise examined federal agencies’ ability to meet core capabilities described in the National Preparedness Goal. Discussions focused on operational priorities and the coordination structures within the National Response Framework, which organizes federal response resources in support of state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.

For more information on how you can participate in the National Level Exercise 2018, visit www.fema.gov/nle.

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