WASHINGTON -- With Hurricane Alex expected to make landfall early Thursday morning, the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is continuing to coordinate the federal response and support of the state of Texas in preparing for the storm. Alex is the first hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.
Yesterday, President Barack Obama issued an emergency disaster declaration for Texas that enables FEMA to identify, mobilize and provide equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. FEMA continues to closely monitor Hurricane Alex and remains in close contact with state and local officials in Texas, as well as all hurricane-prone states to ensure they have the resources they need should a storm strike.
"As Hurricane Alex moves closer to south Texas, every resident living in the area should be taking the steps they need to prepare," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "It's critical that people remember to listen to their local and state officials. FEMA's first priority, as we continue to line up resources on the ground, is to support our state and local partners in their efforts to keep families and communities safe."
In anticipation of a possible landfall in Mexico that will impact counties in south Texas, in the desire to work proactively and aggressively to prepare for the storm, FEMA has coordinated the following:
- Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Harris has been designated to coordinate the federal response in the region. He, along with members of one of FEMA's Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT), along with additional FEMA personnel, are on the ground working with state officials as they prepare for the impact of the hurricane. FEMA has also assigned a liaison officer for the Texas Department of Emergency Management.
- FEMA has staged commodities at a facility outside San Antonio in readiness to provide support for the response. This includes more than 1.1 million meals, more than 400,000 liters of water, more than 41,000 tarps and more than 100 generators, as well as other commodities such as cots, blankets and personal kits.
- U.S. Northern Command has activated a U.S. Army North Defense Coordinating Office (DCO) and Defense Coordinating Element (DCE) in support of operations, to provide assessment and coordination as required. DCOs and DCEs work very closely with federal, state, tribal and local officials to determine what unique Department of Defense capabilities can assist in mitigating the effects of a natural disaster.
- The American Red Cross has deployed 17 Emergency Response Vehicles (feeding trucks) to south Texas, and has also sent additional volunteers to the area, along with 2000 cots, blankets and hygiene kits to support sheltering efforts in the area. The Red Cross is prepared to support 20 post landfall shelters in South Texas and kitchen equipment is also being brought into the area.
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. For more information on FEMA's activities, visit www.FEMA.gov.
FEMA is not the whole team - FEMA is part of the emergency management team. That team includes federal partners, state, tribal and local officials, the private sector, non-profits and faith-based groups, and most importantly - the general public.
Individual and community preparedness is the responsibility of everyone. Individuals, families and businesses should prepare emergency supply kits and develop family emergency plans. Our team can only be as prepared as the public, which is why it is important that people living in hurricane-prone areas take steps to p...