ATLANTA, Ga. -- Food, water and industrial generators, help with downed communications systems and other assistance flows into Kentucky as the result of coordination by the commonwealth, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal partners.
FEMA and the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management are working to meet the emergency needs of the people of Kentucky in 93 counties. Monday night, 32 Kentucky counties were added to the Jan. 28 federal emergency declaration that initially covered 61 counties.
"With 93 counties now under this emergency declaration, we have more help on the way," said Gen. John W. Heltzel, director of Kentucky?s Division of Emergency Management.? "With the help from our partners, we will continue to address state and local needs to help the people of Kentucky, while we work with FEMA on the next step of assessing damages."
The mobilization of support, including assistance from emergency management teams in Mississippi and Tennessee, follows a week of winter storms that have crippled most of the commonwealth. Thousands of Kentuckians are in temporary shelters, taking refuge from homes without electrical power.
"We continue to move aggressively to help Kentuckians through this emergency," FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May said.? "Hundreds of federal personnel deployed to Kentucky are working closely with emergency management and local officials to assist in life-sustaining efforts. We will continue to do whatever it takes to get the people of Kentucky the help they need," May said.
A brief overview of assistance to date:
- Commodities. To date, the response has delivered 40 truckloads of water and more than 25 truckloads of meals. FEMA is currently processing additional requests for food and water amounting to 105,000 liters of water per day and 65,000 meals per day.
- Communications. Three of FEMA?s Mobile Emergency Response Units (MERS), which began providing critical telecommunications support hours after the storm, are stationed at emergency operations centers in Frankfort, Paducah, Greenville and Fort Campbell.? They are providing satellite phones and other technical equipment to help emergency first responders communicate.
- Power Support. Industrial generators of various sizes and capacities are in Kentucky to help power critical facilities.? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has brought in additional teams in order to speed up generator installation.
- Health and Safety. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services teams will be visiting 13 counties designated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to conduct community health assessments. They will measure and identify public health and medical issues that may affect communities as a whole. Results will be provided to state and local public health officials and emergency managers for needed disaster response support.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has asked FEMA to conduct damage assessments. The governor also has asked President Obama for a major disaster declaration to increase the level of federal assistance for emergency protective measures and debris removal.
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.