IMATs: Experts Supporting the Emergency Management Team

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This winter has been an especially active one in the Northeast. While I am accustomed to significant snowfalls being from upstate New York, Region II has been busy responding to this year’s major winter storms with our federal, state, and local partners throughout the region. I would like to share one particularly valuable element of FEMA’s support of first responders, the Incident Management Assistance Team, or IMAT.

IMATs are made up of dedicated and experienced senior-level emergency management professionals that are able to deploy upon a moment’s notice when requested by the state. IMATs are generally consist of 10 members, with expertise in operations, logistics, planning, and recovery. They are a rapidly deployable asset to anywhere in the region or the country, supporting our states and territories in their emergency response efforts.

IMATs provide a forward federal presence to facilitate the management of the national response to catastrophic incidents. The primary mission of an IMAT is three-fold:
 

  • rapidly deploy to an incident or potentially threatened venue,
  • identify ways federal assistance could be used to best support the response and recovery efforts, should it become available, and
  • work with partners across jurisdictions to support the affected State or territory.

One of the most important aspects of the IMAT’s role is to support and take their direction from the state. As our mission states, FEMA’s role is to “support citizens and first responders”. After a disaster, state and local emergency responders, along with voluntary agencies and faith-based groups, are called on to meet the immediate needs of the affected community, and IMATs are FEMA’s team of experts that stand ready to support if they are called upon.

Just last week, I visited the Region II IMAT who spent the week at New Jersey’s Regional Intelligence Operations Center, training with the region II Defense Coordinating Element. This opportunity allowed the team to sit in the actual space that New Jersey would provide them during a real incident and the team was tasked with making that empty room into a fully operational office. Even though it was an exercise, it is impressive to see the team in action as they support our states and territories.

Region II IMAT team leader, Tom Fargione (far left), discusses operational planning with other IMAT team members and Region II's Defense Coordinating Element during an exercise.

Trenton, NJ, February 10, 2011 -- Region II IMAT team leader, Tom Fargione (far left), discusses operational planning with other IMAT team members and Region II's Defense Coordinating Element during an exercise. Region II's IMAT and Defense Coordinating Element frequently train together to ensure seamless operations during actual deployments.

Within hours the IMAT and the Defense Coordinating Element were working together to support the state and had access to key communications channels and capabilities, such as video-teleconferencing. As part of the exercise, the participants also discussed operational planning to continue to improve procedures during an actual IMAT deployment.

As we continue to strengthen relationships with other members of the emergency management team, IMAT’s are a critical part of making sure all members are collaborating with one another, providing the most coordinated response effort possible.

- Lynn

Last Updated: 
06/19/2012 - 18:02
Posted on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 14:06
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Anonymous:

The Civil Defense Corporation of America (CDCOA) w...

The Civil Defense Corporation of America (CDCOA) would like to team up with FEMA to provide rescue and first responce to the gulf coast regions. We propose building the nations only CAT 7 Deployment compound in the Gulf Coast Area . We would also pepose that the CDCOA be allowed by the United States of America to purchase house our own IMAT equipment and train our own personel. Our Gulf Coast CAT 7 Center will allow support for all areas including a CAT 7 Seaport for Storeing and Dispatching units for Oil Disaster Responce to cover 100% of the Gulf Coastline . The Civil Defense Corporation of America is not seeking FEMA project funding , but a partnership that will insure that our paid and nonpaid members will get the higest level of training to cover all aspects of emergancy services . The CDCOA will raise 100% of its funding for this project and we will have on call 400 trained disaster responce team members along with the proper equipment to respond and dispatch nation wide on demand . All the CDCOA askes is that more non-profits be used and more controll be given to the public in disasters. We bring to the table a new fire gel prototype to be used for fire disaster responce , as well 6mwph moble bio fuel turbine power generation . And we shall be able to do this on public sector funding with no funds from the United States Federial Government.<br />The Civil Defense Corporation of America's MOTO is " LIFE MATTERS " OUR MISSION IS "TO PROTECT THE FOLD " meaning that from coast to coast we the CDCOA shall protect all Americans on American Soil . Because LIFE MATTERS...<br />Thank You <br />S. Cartwright (CDCOA)<br />email- info@cdcoa.org

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