BOSTON, Mass. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency is working closely with the New England states affected by the recent ice storm that struck much of the Northeast. The storm left several million people without power at its peak, and outages still affect hundreds of thousands throughout New England. Shelters have been established in four states to house those that have no power and no alternative means of heating their residence.
"This ice storm packed quite a punch, providing a serious challenge to emergency responders in New England," said FEMA Region I Administrator Art Cleaves. "The steps taken in advance of the storm had gotten the response efforts off to a positive start, and responders from all levels of government and in the private sector are working to get the region back up on its feet."
Already, President Bush has issued emergency declarations for New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. These declarations opened to the door for assistance directly from federal government agencies to support emergency protective measures. Federal agencies and the Red Cross are providing cots, blankets, water and food for shelters as well as generators to restore electricity to critical facilities.
FEMA has established a logistics staging facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This site serves as a central receiving facility for the response supplies coming in from around the country. The centralized location allows for quick and efficient delivery of the commodities to affected communities in several states.
The FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) has been operation 24 hours a day since Friday morning. The RRCC includes representatives from all federal agencies involved in the disaster response, fostering a coordinated effort from the federal government.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.