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Maryland Department of Emergency Management

MDEM Joins FEMA and Anne Arundel County to Conduct Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise

Federal, State, Local Partners Strengthen Regional Resilience, Demonstrate Available Resources After a Disaster


Rising PhoenixREISTERSTOWN, MD (May 11, 2023) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) today for the Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise. This joint exercise was an important test of State, local, and federal readiness and the ability to respond to disasters in the Mid-Atlantic area.

“As we participate in the Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise, we are reminded of our Department’s vision to shape a more resilient Maryland where communities thrive by building strong partnerships and promoting community preparedness,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “By working together with our federal and local partners in this exercise, we are taking proactive steps towards achieving that vision and ensuring we are prepared to respond to disasters in our region and our State.”

The exercise aims to:

  • Validate FEMA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic) transition plans and procedures with field elements.
  • Coordinate the mobilization of Region 3 staff.
  • Facilitate the preliminary damage assessment (PDA) process.
  • Coordinate between FEMA, the State, and locals to perform a disaster survivor assistance (DSA) mission, which includes the opening and operating of a disaster recovery center (DRC) that successfully allows survivor access to individual assistance programs.

“The Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise is an important step in ensuring that Anne Arundel County is prepared for any disaster that might occur in our region,” said Preeti Emrick, Director of the Anne Arundel County OEM. “It is essential that we collaborate with our State, federal, and local entities to respond quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency.”

Volunteer actors served as disaster survivors and made their way through the DRC seeking information from these entities as they would have in a real post-disaster environment. The mock DSA mission and opening of the DRC offer an opportunity for residents to see firsthand how these services might work in the event of a disaster.

Some residents participated as a residential role player in the exercise and gained a better understanding of what to expect and how they can access individual assistance programs.

The Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise provides a unique opportunity for MDEM, FEMA, and the Anne Arundel County OEM to work together to improve their response capabilities and better prepare for future disasters. MDEM encourages all residents to learn more about the disaster recovery process and additional resources by visiting

Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise 1

Rising Phoenix 7

Rising Phoenix 9

Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise 3

Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise 2

Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise 4

Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise 6

Rising Phoenix 7

Rising Phoenix Recovery Exercise 5


Jorge Castillo,, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough,, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872