FEMA and Federal Partners Continue to Mobilize Resources

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Release date: 
August 30, 2012
Release Number: 
HQ-12-087

WASHINGTON – At the direction of President Barack Obama, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to coordinate the federal government's response and recovery efforts.  Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visited the National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. where she participated in a video teleconference with the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and federal agencies actively involved in response and recovery efforts underway.  FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is on the ground in Louisiana and met with Governor Bobby Jindal and flew over areas of the Tangipahoa River. 

Last night, President Obama signed major disaster declarations for the states of Louisiana and Mississippi making federal aid available to supplement state and local response efforts for emergency protective measures and debris removal in the areas affected by Hurricane Isaac beginning on August 26, 2012.  These declarations build up on emergency declarations issued for both states earlier this week.  Statewide hazard mitigation is available to all counties and tribal government in Mississippi, and to all parishes and tribal governments in Louisiana.

"Whether a community is beginning the clean-up process, or still feeling the effects of Isaac, residents still need to be alert to the dangers that remain,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  "This is still a powerful storm and there are a number of areas both along the coast and inland that can be affected by strong winds, storm surge and inland flooding and tornadoes.  Residents should follow the direction of local officials and continue to monitor NOAA weather radio and local news reports for the latest storm conditions.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) remains actively engaged in flood fighting efforts.  USACE teams also have been closely working with the states of Louisiana and Mississippi.  Teams are on the ground providing technical assistance, such as hydraulic modeling and finding available portable pumps, to reduce flooding along the Tangipahoa River and in Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana.  USACE also deployed emergency power teams to Mississippi and Louisiana, and commodities, debris, and temporary roofing teams have deployed to Louisiana.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed two Federal Medical Stations, one to Baton Rouge, La., and the other to New Orleans, La. to serve as medical special needs shelters for residents. HHS has deployed five Public Health Officials from the U.S. Public Health Service and two 50-person Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from the National Disaster Medical System to aid in medical care for sheltering residents. HHS also is providing additional staff and a cache of medical supplies to assist the evacuating patients in Louisiana and there are more than 100 ambulances and more than 300 paratransit seats in Baton Rouge to move patients.

A 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week Disaster Distress Helpline was activated by the HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as a resource that responds to people seeking crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or manmade disaster or tragedy.  The residents of the Gulf States can call 1-800-985-5990 for assistance.

Incident Management Assistance Teams are in state emergency operations centers in Mississippi and Louisiana as well as supporting state and local needs in Plaquemines Parish, La.  Mobile Emergency Response Teams also are deployed to Louisiana, Mississippi to support state emergency communications requirements including voice, video, and information services. Texas Task Force 1, an urban search and rescue team, is deployed to Louisiana and available as needed or requested.  FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration, tomorrow, will be joining state and local officials in Florida to begin preliminary damage assessments in the hardest hit county.

As the storm continues to move further inland, FEMA’s regional offices in Denton, Texas, Chicago, Ill., and Kansas City, Mo. are monitoring Tropical Depression Isaac, and remain in close coordination with potentially affected states. Yesterday, FEMA Region VI Regional Administrator Tony Robinson spoke with Arkansas Emergency Management Director David Maxwell, and FEMA Region VII Regional Administrator Beth Freeman spoke with Andrea Stillar, the Deputy Director of Missouri Department of Public Safety.  Today, FEMA Region V Regional Administrator Andrew Velasquez III spoke with state emergency management directors from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.  Regional Incident Management Assistance teams from Regions V and VII, and other staff are on standby, should they be needed.  An Incident Management Assistance Team and a Mobile Emergency Response Support Team, from a previous disaster, are on the ground in Ohio and can support response efforts for the approaching storm, if needed.

 

Below is a timeline of some of the key activities and events that have occurred since Tropical Depression Isaac first threatened Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on its path to the Gulf of Mexico:

 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

  • Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano joined FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino on a video-teleconference call to discuss the latest developments with the National Weather Service, partner agencies and regional representatives to assess their needs and readiness.  The conference had the participation of emergency management leadership from the affected states including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
  • A National Incident Management Assistance Team deployed to support state efforts in Plaquemines Parish.  This is the second IMAT team on the ground in Louisiana.
  • FEMA deployed teams to join the U.S. Small Business Administration, and state and local preliminary damage assessments (PDA) scheduled to begin tomorrow in Palm Beach County, Florida. These assessments identify the damages in impacted counties and to help the governor determine if additional federal support will be requested. 
  • FEMA’s regional offices in Denton, Texas, Chicago, Ill., and Kansas City, Mo. continue to monitor Tropical Depression Isaac, and remain in close coordination with potentially affected states.  Regional Incident Management Assistance teams from Regions V and VII, and other staff are on standby.  There is also an Incident Management Assistance Team and Mobile Emergency Response Support team, on the ground in Ohio, from a previous disaster that can support response operations from storm, if needed.
  • Texas Task Force 1, a federal urban search and rescue task force with the National Urban Search and Rescue System, and an Incident Support Team remain in Louisiana.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is rapidly assessing impacts to the maritime transportation system impacts in order to restore flow of commerce through the ports and the Mississippi river.  Seven helicopters and one fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft are conducting search and rescue operations, port assessments and off shore patrols in the Gulf of Mexico.  USCG was responding to a variety of stranded persons in all of the parishes affected by the storm.  17 people and 2 pets have been rescued.  The Captain of the Port of New Orleans has worked closely with the port authorities, the pilots and industry to safely clear a variety of grounded vessels and barges in the confines of the Mississippi river ensuring rapid recovery to the flow of commerce. 
  • FEMA, in coordination with U.S. Northern Command pre-staged in Fort Rucker, AL four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from Fort Campbell, KY and two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters from Norfolk Naval Air Station, VA, to assist in search and rescue efforts.  A Search and Rescue planner has also been activated and deployed to the Baton Rouge Emergency Operations Center.  There are four Emergency Planners Liaison Officers deployed to the National Response Coordination Center in support of FEMA and Fort Polk, LA has been designated as a Federal Team Staging Area.  The command activated Region VI Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO), and Defense Coordinating Element (DCE) to Baton Rouge, LA, to validate, plan and coordinate potential DOD support of FEMA's hurricane response operations and to facilitate DOD's support of potential life-saving and response operations.
  • U.S. Northern Command deployed their Southwest Navy Regional Mass Communications team to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in New Orleans, LA.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) is the designated Federal Sector-Specific agency directing Emergency Support Function12 (ESF-12) activities for the Energy Sector under the National Response Framework. DOE and local area utility companies are gathering a workforce of more than 12,000 electricity workers from over 24 states to assess the situation and begin energy restoration efforts once the storm passes.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues to support the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana Emergency Operation Centers and FEMA Regions IV and VI Regional Response Coordination Centers to organize response efforts, deployed Emergency Power Teams to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. USACE's commodities, debris, and temporary roofing teams are in Louisiana and others are placed on alert status to support Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.  USACE teams are working with the State of Louisiana and Plaquemines Parish to assist in the flood fight of locally owned levees experiencing overtopping from Isaac.  Teams on the ground are providing technical assistance, such as hydraulic modeling and finding available portable pumps, to reduce flooding.
  • More than 4,100 National Guard forces in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana are on State Active Duty prepared to respond to Hurricane Isaac.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed two Federal Medical Stations to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La., to serve as medical special needs shelters for residents. To provide medical care for sheltering residents, HHS deployed five commissioned corps officers from the U.S. Public Health Service and two 50-person Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from the National Disaster Medical System. HHS also is providing additional staff and a cache of medical supplies to assist the evacuating patients in Louisiana and there are more than 100 ambulances and more than 300 paratransit seats in Baton Rouge to move patients.

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

  • President Obama signed a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Mississippi making federal aid available to supplement state and local response efforts for emergency protective measures and debris removal in the area affected by Hurricane Isaac beginning on August 26, 2012.
  • President Obama signed a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Louisiana making federal aid available to supplement state and local response efforts for emergency protective measures and debris removal in the area affected by Hurricane Isaac beginning on August 26, 2012
  • President Obama, joined by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb, convened a call with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
  • Secretary Napolitano also called Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to talk with them about preparations ahead of the arrival of Isaac and to offer any support they might need.
  • FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was on the ground in Louisiana, where he visited the state emergency operations center in Baton Rouge, met with Governor Bobby Jindal and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.  
  • FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino held a video-teleconference call to discuss the latest developments with the National Weather Service, partner agencies and regional representatives to assess their needs and readiness.  The conference had the participation of emergency management leadership from potentially affected states including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE), is the designated Federal Sector-Specific agency directing Emergency Support Function12 (ESF-12) activities for the Energy Sector under the National Response Framework. DOE has teams of responders specializing in energy infrastructure and coordinating with deployed personnel, other Department offices, and Federal and State and local agencies in responding to the emergency. 
  • FEMA, in coordination with U.S. Northern Command deployed four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from Fort Campbell, KY and two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters from Norfolk Naval Air Station, VA, to assist in search and rescue efforts.  A Search and Rescue planner has also been activated and deployed to the Baton Rouge Emergency Operations Center.  There are four Emergency Planners Liaison Officers deployed to the National Response Coordination Center in support of FEMA and Fort Polk, LA has been designated as a Federal Team Staging Area.  The command has activated Region VI Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO), and Defense Coordinating Element (DCE) to Baton Rouge, LA, to validate, plan and coordinate potential DOD support of FEMA's hurricane response operations and to facilitate DOD's support of potential life-saving and response operations.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will resume initial response activities aimed solely at saving or protecting lives, to include evacuating people from the affected area, as soon as weather permits, and will continue to monitor conditions at all impacted ports.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continued to support the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana Emergency Operation Centers and FEMA Regions IV and VI Regional Response Coordination Centers to organize response efforts, has deployed Emergency Power Teams to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. USACE's commodities, debris, and temporary roofing teams have deployed to Louisiana and others have been placed on alert status to support Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.  USACE teams also have been closely working with the State of Louisiana and Plaquemines Parish to assist in the flood fight of locally owned levees experiencing overtopping from Isaac.  Teams on the ground are providing technical assistance, such as hydraulic modeling and finding available portable pumps, to reduce flooding. 
  • The American Red Cross (ARC) has provided shelter to more than 5,200 residents Tuesday night at about 80 shelters in six states from Florida to Texas as Hurricane Isaac made landfall along the Gulf Coast. Also, ARC deployed about 2,700 trained Red Cross disaster workers across the Gulf to run shelters, serve meals and distribute relief items. The Red Cross pre-positioned 311,000 ready-to-eat meals, kitchen support trailers and truck loads of relief supplies with clean up and personal hygiene items, cots, blankets, coolers, shovels, tarps and gloves. In addition, the Southern Baptist Convention had mobile kitchens capable of producing thousands of meals a day staged across the Gulf Coast alongside the Red Cross. Just outside the storm area, 187 emergency response vehicles were ready to move into affected communities as soon as weather conditions allow.  Local shelter locations are available at http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter
  • Mississippi National Guard responded to Hurricane Isaac with approximately 1,500 members from across the state including military police and others with civil support abilities that would enable them to assist local authorities in recovery and relief efforts.  Guard members scouted potential sites for the distribution of food and water and established communications with the various local authorities.  Louisiana National Guard pre-staged approximately 680 troops and assets across the New Orleans metropolitan area in order to better protect the community and its citizens as Hurricane Isaac churns toward the Gulf coast.  In order to quickly respond to possible high-water evacuation or search and rescue missions, Soldiers from the 769th Engineer Battalion, 225th Engineer Brigade, staged Humvees hitched with boats at Jackson Barracks.
  • USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) urged livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Isaac to keep thorough records of their livestock and feed losses, including additional expenses for such things as feed purchases because of lost supplies.
  • FEMA's Congressional Affairs Division hosted a Congressional Briefing via conference call in conjunction with NOAA's National Weather Service for the Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi Congressional delegations, Congressional Asian, Black and Hispanic Caucuses and our Authorizers and Appropriators.  The purpose of the call is to provide an update on the latest track of Hurricane Isaac and FEMA's current posture and preparations going forward.
  • FEMA's Private Sector Representative in the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) in Washington, D.C. continues to engage National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) members requesting store open/closed status from impacted areas.  Additionally, the NBEOC will host a call at 2:30 PM EST.

More information about the full federal response and activities is available at yesterday's blog post recap.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
September 25, 2012 - 14:49