Category Archives: Exercises

2018 National Mass Care Exercise to be held in Arizona

The 2018 National Mass Care Exercise will be held May 21-24, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. The scenario involves a large evacuation to Arizona from California after a catastrophic earthquake.

The five strategic goals of the National Mass Care Strategy seek to move the nation in a direction that increases the capabilities and capacities of the Whole Community across the range and scale of disasters to which this country is vulnerable. One of the tasks in this Strategy was to conduct an annual national mass care system exercise that focuses on establishing state-to federal coordination systems and integrating staff from key NGOs, faith-based organizations, and the private sector into an effective mass care multi-agency coordination structure.

The National Mass Care Exercises commenced in Florida. Then additional states followed which include: Texas, Missouri, Utah, and now Arizona.  No two NMCE’s are the same, the scenarios vary, the objectives are based on what the state would like to test, and the players vary based on the FEMA Region and the focus of the exercise. The exercise provides an excellent opportunity to build relationships, provide needed Mass Care/Emergency Assistance training, and a chance to strengthen and develop task force criteria.

AAR’s on past exercises are available on the National Mass Care Strategy website.

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.