Washington, D.C., August 24, 2011 -- Bill Read, Director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center (on-screen, center), provides a briefing to federal and state partners on Hurricane Irene via videoteleconference.
Through our regional offices in Boston, Mass., Philadelphia, Penn., New York, N.Y., Atlanta, Ga., and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the territories that have been affected, and states that may be impacted.
On Monday, President Obama declared an emergency for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, making available federal resources to support response efforts. In advance of Irene moving through the territories, we deployed teams to both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to coordinate directly with local officials on the ground.
And at the direction of President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano, we continue to work with our federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local partners, as well as voluntary organizations, the private sector, and others to aggressively prepare for Hurricane Irene.
The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities. For the latest updates on our activities, visit the Severe Tropical Weather category on our blog.
Wednesday, August 24
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina has been designated as an Incident Support Base to support federal operations to respond to Hurricane Irene. The Incident Support Base allows FEMA and federal partners to proactively stage commodities closer to areas potentially affected by severe weather, allowing us to quickly move needed supplies throughout affected states, should they be needed and requested.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started deploying members of the 249th Engineering Battalion (Prime Power) to Puerto Rico to assist with restoring power to the island.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Hurricane Center is monitoring Hurricane Irene and flying jet surveillance missions to provide updated forecasts.
- The National Guard Bureau has personnel on the ground in Puerto Rico providing support for clearing roads and debris, transporting equipment, communications, urban search and rescue efforts, and public safety and security needs.
- U.S. NORTHCOM has deployed staff to Puerto Rico to help provide support and coordinate response efforts.
- U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Coast Guard is currently conducting port and air assessments in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help re-open ports as soon as possible.
- The American Red Cross is sending volunteers to North Carolina and South Carolina, and moving feeding trucks and communications equipment to east coast states. Local chapters are also getting ready for sheltering efforts.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing recommendations for residents in states that might be affected by Hurricane Irene to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses in the event of power outages, flooding, and other problems that could be associated with the storm. Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at www.AskKaren.gov. "Ask Karen" live chat services are available Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
- FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino and National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read hold a conference call with congressional stakeholders to discuss response operations, the latest storm developments and preparations.
See yesterday's blog post for a recap of earlier federal activities.
Atlanta, GA, August 23, 2011 -- A FEMA logistics employee moves meals ready to eat to get ready to load onto a trailer at the Atlanta Distribution Center in preparations for Hurricane Irene. The supplies will be moved to an Incident Support Base in North Carolina based on the storm's forecast track.