FEMA Update On Continued Federal Preparedness And Response Efforts In The Pacific

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Release date: 
October 3, 2009
Release Number: 
HQ-09-120

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is into its fifth day of response and federal support to American Samoa. At the same time, FEMA and other federal partners remain engaged in preparedness efforts throughout the Pacific.

FEMA and federal teams, through the Federal Coordinating Officer, continue to work closely with American Samoan Governor Togiola Tulafono, as well as Delegate Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, to provide response in areas of American Samoa impacted by Tuesday's tsunami. The information below represents the progress of resources and supplies into the island territory in the aftermath of the tsunami. The information is current as of 12:00 p.m. EDT.

"In addition to our efforts in support of the Governor of American Samoa, we recognize the significant impact of current disasters in other Pacific regions, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "We are working closely with the Governor to meet his priorities as federal support continues to flow into American Samoa. As we continue to respond and recover in U.S. Territories, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in harms way.  These events remind us how important preparedness and teamwork are to saving lives and ultimately rebuilding communities."

A team of more than 300 responders from FEMA, American Red Cross, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies are on the ground in American Samoa. These personnel comprise the immediate response force, including Incident Management Assessment Teams (IMAT), Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT), and Public Health Assistance Teams. Other personnel are assisting with community efforts.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG), National Guard, and United States Navy have provided critical transport of the life-saving and life-sustaining supplies and equipment to meet the immediate needs of the survivors, including more than 26,000 meals, 14,000 liters of water, 1,800 blankets, 800 tents, more than 800 cots, and nine pallets of medical supplies and medical equipment in support of the territory's mass care operations. Several generators have been deployed, with more on the way. These generators will supply communities and critical infrastructure with power. In accordance with the governor's priority recovery efforts, debris removal planning is also underway and recovery specialists, including a housing planning team, are being identified and assembled

As residents begin to return to their homes, FEMA cautions them to be safe. FEMA cautions all persons on the island to be aware of potential hazards and advises that residents continue to follow guidance of local officials in clearing debris.

FEMA continues to coordinate with our federal partners, providing the following support to the region. Additional information on response and recovery efforts can be found below:

American Red Cross (ARC): ARC has conducted a preliminary disaster assessment and reports extensive destruction west of Leone, City of Pago Pago and the eastern most portion of the island. ARC continues to deploy volunteers on the ground in American Samoa providing food and supplies in affected areas; deploying additional equipment such as computers, cell phones and satellite phones. The Red Cross has activated their Safe and Well program to assist families with finding missing loved ones and is assisting shelter residents with registration on the website.

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG): Port assessments report no significant pollution and no obstructions to commercial traffic. The Navigation Team has completed the assessment of water navigation aids for American Samoa and the surrounding islands; all aids are intact and considered ready to support day and night operations. 

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Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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