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Hurricane Laura Federal Response Update

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Release Date:
August 27, 2020

WASHINGTON -- Hurricane Laura made landfall as a major hurricane early this morning in Cameron, Louisiana. The storm brought life-threatening storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding to large areas along the Gulf Coast. The storm will move inland and affect much of the lower Ohio and Tennessee Valleys within 48 - 72 hours. FEMA is leaning forward with our federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners to mobilize teams and supplies to support a state managed, locally executed response to impacts from Hurricane Laura. FEMA and its federal partners remain fully postured to support potentially impacted states and meet state-identified requirements.

The storm remains a threat to those in its forecasted path. Individuals should continue to monitor their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials and heed local evacuation orders.  If you have been evacuated, do not return until local officials tell you it is safe to do so. 

  • Texas residents should visit for information on evacuation orders, reception center locations, and other emergency resources. For answers to additional questions, call 2-1-1. Louisiana residents should call 2-1-1 for evacuation, sheltering and resources for immediate needs.
  • Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way. Do not return home until local officials say it is safe.
  • If it is safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Flood water can contain dangerous debris, downed power lines, and other risks. Do not attempt to walk, swim, wade or drive through flood waters.

President Trump amended the  emergency declarations for Louisiana and Texas, expanding the declarations to cover emergency protective response actions taken by state, local and tribal officials. The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures. FEMA received a request for a disaster declaration from Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday night. The Governor is specifically requesting emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program statewide. The request is under review.

FEMA has mobilized federal response teams to support Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas response efforts to the Hurricane.

  • Regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) are in place in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas state operations centers. National IMATs are also deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Denton, Texas. Additionally, several members of the national IMAT are deployed to Louisiana and Texas operation centers to coordinate with the regional IMAT in the state. An additional fully missional capable IMAT is ready to deploy, if needed.
  • Impact assessments began this morning along the Gulf Coast.
  • Four Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Teams have deployed to Texas and Louisiana. A FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Incident Support Team in n Louisiana to coordinate with the state. Six additional water rescue capable US&R Teams are en route to Louisiana and two additional teams en route to Texas. Additional teams, including up to three Quick Response Teams, are on alert to deploy if necessary.
  • FEMA deployed staging management teams to Camp Beauregard Louisiana and Roseland, Louisiana. A National Incident Support Base Team Delta is in Selma, Alabama to support staging commodity missions.
  • Mobile disaster communications equipment is prepositioned in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Austin, Texas to support staging and command and control operations. Additional equipment and personnel have been deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Fort Worth, Texas.

FEMA pre-positioned commodities such as meals and water ahead of Hurricane Laura.

  • More than 500,000 meals and 800,000 liters of water are prepositioned at the Roseland Staging Area and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana. Blue Roof Sheeting, Infant Toddler Kits and generators are also pre-positioned at Camp Beauregard. Additionally, FEMA placed more than 3 million meals and 970,000 liters of water on standby at its distribution center in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Further commodities including meals, water, Infant and Toddler Kits and generators have been requested by Region 6.

FEMA and its federal partners are moving assets and teams into areas impacted by Hurricane Laura.

  • Temporary Roofing planning and response teams are in Louisiana and Texas.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Temporary Emergency Power Teams, an Advanced Contract Initiative contractor, 249th Prime Power Battalion personnel and debris subject matter experts are in Texas and Louisiana.
  • USACE is providing flood fight support with technical assistance to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West using the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Additionally, USACE is implementing response plans for dam safety teams, deploying a sand bagging machine and operators to Hancock County, Mississippi and issuing sandbags and sandbagging machines for areas in Louisiana and Texas.
  • U.S. Coast Guard pre-positioned assets including rotary and fixed wing aircrafts, shallow watercrafts and supporting units in Alabama and Louisiana.
  • Additional personnel from across the federal government, including the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation, Health and Human Services and the Department of Energy deployed and available to provide support.
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