ATLANTA, Ga. -- After last week's severe winter storm knocked out power, radio and phone service in many areas of Kentucky, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) went into action providing direct response and relief, and coordinating efforts of federal partner agencies to help where Kentucky needs it.
The declared emergency made immediate federal assistance available. FEMA dispatched portable radio towers and satellite uplink trucks to Kentucky to bridge the storm-produced communications gap. Since Thursday, FEMA has coordinated deliveries of commodities, equipment and provided technical assistance requested by Kentucky Division of Emergency Management.
Emergency management professionals say the key to effective disaster response is those close partnerships.
"It's our job to respond directly with our own resources and to facilitate the aid from our federal partners," said FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May.
In Kentucky, FEMA's coordination has extended to agencies handling transportation issues, public works, medical services, sheltering, logistics support, food supplies and others at federal, state and non-governmental levels.
Federal agencies helping in the emergency response to Kentucky include:
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, conducting site assessment and directing installation of emergency generators; conducting debris clearing;
- U.S. Department of Transportation, through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, monitoring road conditions, airports, rail lines and transit systems;
- The American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Convention, providing shelters and meals;
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Kentucky Hospital Association and agencies in other southeastern states to determine the status of medical facilities and the need for specialized medical care in shelters and elsewhere.
"FEMA will continue working hard to meet the emergency needs of the people of Kentucky," May said.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.