Exercise Benefits / Facts
The City of Tallahassee undertook an effort to develop, facilitate and evaluate a disaster exercise entitled “Tallahassee Twister – A Tornado Response Tabletop Exercise”.
This exercise served as an opportunity for the city’s various departments to enhance their individual disaster response capabilities while strengthening the team work between each of these departments.
It is late January and the severe weather associated with a cold front moving through the area prompts the Tallahassee Forecast Office of the National Weather Services to issue a Tornado Watch for Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla Counties in Florida’s Big Bend Region from 7:35AM until 3:00PM.
At 9:17AM, meteorologists at the National Weather Service notice what appears to be the formation of a tornado on their Doppler weather radar. They immediately issue a Tornado Warning. The tornado is moving on a tract from just south of the Tallahassee Regional Airport to the northeast.
Over the next 30 minutes, numerous Tornado Warnings are issued throughout the area.
The Tallahassee Twister Tabletop Exercise had two levels of participation.
Protective Action Participant – The majority of the locations participated only in the first 30 minutes of the exercise. During this “Protective Action” segment of the exercise, each of the city’s departments tested their individual in-place protection plan.
Response Participant – Specific locations were totally involved throughout the entire exercise. At these locations participants assessed their response capabilities to a severe weather event striking Tallahassee.
The Tallahassee Twister Tabletop Exercise was facilitated on the morning of February 12, 2010, with City of Tallahassee employees participating from 51 separate locations simultaneously from their normal base of operations.