Category Archives: Exercises

National Mass Care Exercise 2017

National Mass Care Exercise 2017 Banner photo

The State of Utah hosted the 2017 “There’s No Place Like Home” National Mass Care Exercise from Aug. 22nd-24th, in Salt Lake City, UT. 

The exercise built off of the Wasatch Earthquake Catastrophic plan with the focus of the exercise play on the coordination at the State EOC ESF#6 desk and the many mass care activity’s liaisons.  Field play was primarily coordinated by the Red Cross and included the setting up shelters, activating the multi-agency feeding task force, bulk distribution sites, and a potential non-resident evacuation embarkation site.   In addition, the customary task forces (MC Activity Groups) strategized on the topics of feeding, sheltering, bulk distribution and reunification.

Download exercise information flyer here.

State ESF #6 Coordinator Position Guide Book

The State of Washington has developed a new State ESF #6 Coordinator Position Guide Book to assist their mass care lead at the State Emergency Operations Center in performing necessary coordination during a response. This Guide Book will be tested during the State’s participation in the Cascadia Rising national exercise.

“This Position Guide Book lists the essential tasks for the state level ESF #6 Coordinator (alternatively referred to as the “mass care lead”) in the State Emergency Operations Center (State EOC) and/or a Joint Field Office (JFO). This guide serves as a ready reference and describes the basic tasks that must be performed through the ESF #6 desk at the State Emergency Operations Center (State EOC).”

“The ESF #6 Coordinator serves as the primary point of contact at the State EOC for all ESF #6 related matters. Additional ESF #6 positions are discussed in separate position books.”


2015 National Mass Care Exercise After Action Report

Check out the 2015 NMCE After Action Report. This year’s NMCE, the 4th annual, was sponsored by the State of Texas and held in Austin on June 8th, 2015. The National Mass Care Exercise (NCME) is held on an annual basis in keeping with Strategic Goal 1.4 of the National Mass Care Strategy, “Improve the effectiveness of disaster exercises in building mass care capacity, including scenario planning”. The NCME is sponsored by a state and supported by the FEMA Region and Headquarters as well as the mass care providers that comprise the whole community. The first three NMCEs were hosted by Florida in conjunction with their annual full scale hurricane exercise. This exercise, designated Critical Mass 2015 was the first to be hosted by another state, Texas, and one with a non-hurricane scenario.

This 2015 NMCE After Action Report provides a synthesis of the comments that were made in interviews conducted with Evaluators, Controllers and Task Force Leaders during the exercise as well from comments made during the Hot Wash which occurred following the exercise on June 11th.

2014 National Mass Care Exercise After Action Report

2014 National Mass Care Exercise

Submitted by Michael Whitehead, Florida State Mass Care Coordinator

The 2014 National Mass Care Exercise was conducted May 19-22, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida in conjunction with the 2014 Florida Statewide “Hurricane Jones” Exercise sponsored by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Over 100 players, controllers and evaluators representing all levels of government, nongovernmental agencies, the private sector and academia participated in the mass care portion of the exercise. Additionally, FEMA and the American Red Cross established response operations off-site to simulate coordinating elements that would be in effect in a real event.

Download the 2014 National Mass Care Exercise After Action Report. 

National Mass Care Webinar Series: “National Mass Care Exercise: Helping to Build State Capability”

On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, the National Mass Care Council hosted the 2nd installment of the National Mass Care Strategy webinar series– “National Mass Care Exercise: Helping to Build the State Capability”. The panel of presenters represented government, private sector and voluntary agencies:

  • Michael Whitehead – State of Florida
  • Sue Bush – State of Washington
  • Brian Head – Sysco Corporation
  • Jono Anzalone – American Red Cross

During the webinar speakers discussed the history of the National Mass Care Exercise, the exercise experience and lessons learned and how mass care exercises can be used to build state capability. The presentation slides from this presentation are available here. The webinar, “National Mass Care Exercise: Helping to Build State Capability“, is now available on demand.

Please let us know about your experience with the second installment of the National Mass Care Strategy Webinar Series by participating in our survey. We encourage you to keep the conversation going on the web at  and on Twitter @mass_care.

Upcoming Webinar: Promising Practices for the Whole Community – Part One

FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) announces the first of our yearlong series of webinars on promising practices for the inclusion of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in emergency preparedness and disaster response and recovery.

Currently most disaster and emergency response systems do not adequately address the communication access needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing, causing a lack of access to important and lifesaving information and services. The complexities of language and cultural differences pose serious barriers to first responders and emergency providers in reaching people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Sign language interpreters are key cultural and linguistic linkages providing access to actionable information. The Office for Access and Functional Needs (OAFN) was created within California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) in 2008 with the purpose of identifying the needs of people with disabilities before, during and after a disaster and integrating disability needs and resources into all aspects of emergency management systems. Cal OES, through OAFN established the Disaster Response Interpreter (DRI) training program to credential certified sign language interpreters, formalizing a statewide system of securing and deploying qualified interpreters during a disaster to provide communication access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. This Webinar will provide an overview of California’s DRI Program with recommendations on how this promising practice can be replicated.

When: March 11, 2014     2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT

Important links:    Webinar  |   Closed Captioning