Hurricane Phoenix - A Storm Recovery Tabletop Exercise Print E-mail
Hurricane Phoenix

Exercise Overview

Exercise Benefits / Facts

Hurricane Phoenix was a fictitious storm created to simulate the effects of a worst‐case scenario. With input from Tampa Bay area emergency management agencies and the local office of the National Weather Service (NWS), a simulated storm was developed with a track and intensity that would devastate the entire Tampa Bay region.

During the exercise various governmental, community and faith based organizations which comprise the region's emergency response team worked through the challenges of recovering from such a disaster.

The primary focus of the exercise was the multi-county coordination of:

  • Disaster Housing
  • Public Information
  • Volunteers & Donations

The following Florida counties participated in this important exercise: Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter.

Exercise Scenario

October 7 – A tropical depression forms west of the Lesser Antilles, moving generally westward.

October 9 – The depression reaches tropical storm strength…named Tropical Storm Phoenix.

October 10 – Phoenix reaches hurricane intensity south of Jamaica…forecast to strengthen slightly as it moves generally west and west‐northwest into the Yucatan Straits. The storm is forecast to be over open water in the central Gulf of Mexico in 5 days. The entire eastern Gulf coast from New Orleans to the Florida Keys is on the edge of the 5‐day error cone (Forecast Map 1). Forecasters, as well as the public, have a wait‐and‐see attitude for a “minor” hurricane that hasn’t yet set its sights on particular location for landfall in the U.S.

October 13 – Hurricane Phoenix approaches the Yucatan Straits as a Category 2 storm. A Hurricane Watch is posted for a large stretch of the west central coast of Florida with the 11:00AM National Hurricane Center advisory. The forecast track shows a re-curving of the storm back to the north‐northeast after it enters the Gulf of Mexico. Phoenix is forecast to be Category 5 storm approaching the west coast of Florida in two days. Tampa Bay is now at the center of the bull’s‐eye for the hurricane’s forecast landfall.

Exercise Conclusion

The Hurricane Phoenix Tabletop Exercise was conducted on the morning of August 5, 2010.