PHILADELPHIA – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its regional office in Philadelphia, Pa. and on site in Charleston, W.Va., 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 on Thursday.
At the request of the state, FEMA is continuing to provide supplies to a regional staging area in Charleston. As of Saturday, FEMA has delivered approximately 1 million liters of water from its distribution centers in Cumberland and Frederick, Maryland, to the area for use by the state. FEMA will continue to deliver supplies to the state for distribution, as needed and request.
Friday, President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for federal disaster assistance to West Virginia to supplement state and local response efforts. Direct federal assistance is currently available for Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane counties to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson also spoke with West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin on Friday to convey concern for those impacted by this incident and to make sure there were no unmet needs as the response continues.
In support of state and local response efforts, a FEMA liaison, an Incident Management Assistance Team and a Mobile Emergency Response team are on site in Charleston 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.
“FEMA is in Charleston, working with the State of West Virginia to help meet the needs of impacted residents,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Lapinski. “I encourage those affected to continue to listen to State and Local officials for updated information, including where they can get drinking water.”
Residents can follow The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management at www.twitter.com/wvdhsem and www.facebook.com/WVDHSEM .
When emergencies occur, the first responders are state, local and tribal emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations, and numerous private interest groups who provide emergency assistance required to protect the public's health and safety and to meet the immediate needs of survivors.
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.
Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.
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