The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston is completing an exercise in the area with a simulated Hurricane Ike level storm making a direct impact, coordinating emergency response operations with multiple agencies and industry partners.

The exercise is simulating severe damage to infrastructure in the Houston Ship Channel, several life-saving emergencies, oil and chemical releases, wildlife impacts and more after the Category 3 hurricane made landfall.

According to the Coast Guard, the exercise controllers are injecting obstacles throughout the drill to see how the players rely on one another to collaborate across agency and industry lines to come up with innovative ways to overcome obstacles for the safety of people on the water and the safety of the environment.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston is hosting the two-day full scale exercise with five other federal agencies, nine state agencies, six local agencies and nine industry partners.

The exercise design team hopes the drill will increase communication throughout the region, which will decrease duplication of effort and make response to real disasters a more efficient process. The exercise will also familiarize everyone with the emergency response plans and give players experience for qualification in different positions.