PHILADELPHIA – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its regional office in Philadelphia, Pa., continues to work in close coordination with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to support state and local efforts to ensure public health and safety, in response to emergency conditions resulting from a chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia on Thursday.
This morning, President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration making federal disaster assistance available to West Virginia to supplement state and local response efforts in Boone, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane counties to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Earlier today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke with West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to convey concern for those impacted by this incident and to make sure there were no unmet needs as the response continues.
FEMA has identified a regional staging area in Charleston, West Virginia. FEMA will deliver more than a million liters of water, which is currently on its way from FEMA’s distribution centers in Cumberland and Frederick, Maryland, to the area for use by the state as needed.
In support of state and local response efforts, a FEMA liaison and an Incident Management Assistance Team are on site in Charleston, and a Mobile Emergency Response team is en route to help coordinate assistance to the state as needed. In addition, FEMA’s Regional Response Coordination Center in Philadelphia is activated to support coordination efforts and assist in mobilizing resources.
"We urge those in the affected area to continue to follow the direction of local officials," FEMA Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney emphasized. "Monitor local radio and TV reports for the latest emergency information."
At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States that are available to state and local partners if needed and requested.
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.
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