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Federal Government Mobilized to Support Federal, State, Local and Tribal Partners As Hurricane Harvey Approaches the Gulf Coast

Release date: 
August 25, 2017
Release Number: 
HQ-17-059

Follow the directions of your state, local and tribal officials

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue to coordinate closely with federal, state, local, and tribal partners to support the local response preparations in advance of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall.

Today, Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke and FEMA Administrator Brock Long briefed President Trump on the federal coordination and preparations in place in advance of the storm’s landfall along the Gulf Coast and the subsequent flooding expected to result.  As the White House said today, “the President’s highest priority is the safety of the public and of first responders.” 

FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. and Regional Response Coordination Center in Denton, Texas are fully activated.  Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are positioned in the Texas and Louisiana state emergency operation centers.  These teams, comprised of representatives from FEMA and other federal agencies, are embedded with response officials to support requests for federal assistance, as needed.

Commodities are being strategically located in the Gulf Coast, near potentially affected areas.  As of this morning, more than 96,000 liters of water, 306,000 meals and 4,500 tarps are staged at Incident Support Bases in Texas and Louisiana with additional supplies being readied as states anticipate and request supplies following landfall.

The overall federal response includes:

  • FEMA in coordination with the Department of Defense (DoD) established three Incident Support Bases (ISB) near Seguin, Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, and Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, to pre-position supplies including water, meals, blankets, generators, and other resources closer to the potentially affected areas, should they be needed and requested by state partners.
  • Six federal Urban Search and Rescue task forces with the National Urban Search and Rescue System are staged in San Antonio, Texas prepared to support potentially affected states as needed and requested.
  • Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and equipment are in Fort Worth, Texas to support the state with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support emergency response communications needs.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has General Adjusters situated in Texas and Louisiana to support initial damage assessments and assist with positioning adjuster resources following the event.  If you have a NFIP flood policy, you may be eligible for reimbursement for actions taken to protect your property. Call your insurance agent to find out more.

Ongoing Support and Preparedness Efforts:

The American Red Cross (ARC) opened seven shelters where more than 90 people spent Thursday night, and nearly 50 additional shelters are ready to open.  ARC is mobilizing hundreds of trained disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, and tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort. Trailers full of shelter supplies are including cots and blankets—enough to support more than 20,000 people—are arriving in Texas. More than 40 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are activated with dozens more on alert.  Red Cross Biomedical Services has prepositioned blood products in Houston ahead of the storm to help ensure an adequate blood supply over the weekend. Additional blood inventory is being staged in Dallas, Texas in case of cancelled flights or severe flooding.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has deployed Liaison Officers to state Emergency Operations Centers, team leaders to provide technical assistance, and a Prime Power Planning and Response Team, which includes temporary power restoration assets to the immediate vicinity.  Additionally, USACE Districts in affected areas are conducting flood-fighting activities such as stockpiling and issuing flood-fighting materials (sandbags and materials/fabrics that keep soil in place) to local government entities in an effort to mitigate the effects of flooding in the area.

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team is activated and monitoring Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.  The team will continue to work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat to Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) placed more than 700 members of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team, including FEMA Corps, on standby to deploy at the request of state and local managers. These teams are trained to provide expert manpower for shelter operations, debris removal, and volunteer and donations management. Local AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs have been mobilized and pre-positioned for rapid response. CNCS is coordinating with local partners in each state, including governor-appointed state service commissions and voluntary organizations, to support state emergency operations and volunteer response efforts.

The U.S. Department of Veterans (VA) is closing its Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VATVCBHCS) as it continues to monitor Hurricane Harvey. In addition VA is distributing supplies and materials to mitigate potential damage to clinics. VA Leadership will communicate any changes to Veterans and VA employees throughout the weekend via www.texasvalley.va.gov and www.facebook.com/VCBHCS.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) emergency responders are FEMA coordination centers in Washington, D.C. and Denton, Texas as well as the Texas State Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Texas. DOE emergency responders facilitate clear and consistent communication with other responders and the energy sector, and provide subject matter expertise to help with restoration, and assist the Federal government in restoration efforts.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Preparedness and readiness teams prepare to deploy if requested by the states through FEMA. EPA’s Region 6 office in Dallas is taking action to ensure that Superfund Sites are secured in advance of the storm, to assist the approximately 300 public water system rapid assessments, to process emergency fuel waiver requests, and to seamlessly integrate emergency response activities with Texas, Louisiana, and other federal response agencies.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has five crews installing approximately 20 storm-tide sensors today along the coastline within the areas between San Luis Pass and Corpus Christi, Texas. The equipment will be installed on bridges, piers, and other structures that have a good chance of surviving storm surge during a hurricane. The information they collect will help public officials assess storm damage, discern between wind and flood damage, and improve computer models used to forecast future floods.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed 460 personnel to Texas and Louisiana, including doctors, nurses, and other medical staff from the National Disaster Medical System and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, as well as caches of medical supplies and Federal Medical Stations. The department also has activated the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to provide additional public health and medical support as needed. HHS activated the Disaster Distress Helpline to aid with behavioral health needs for affected residents.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) is ready to assist local authority’s evacuation and response operations, and help anyone in need of assistance. Routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks.

USNORTHCOM is providing a Defense Coordinating Officer with supporting staff element (DCO/DCE) to FEMA’s Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) in Denton, Texas, Joint Field Office, or other location as required to provide DoD regional knowledge, requirements validation, and liaisons, including as necessary State/Emergency Preparedness Liaison SEPLO/EPLO Teams.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is working to contact major interstate operators regarding preparedness activities, and is preparing to assist with any movement of hazardous materials and coordinate with any required special permits or approvals.

USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov are supporting federal agency messaging efforts on the USA.gov & GobiernoUSA.gov home pages and other web content, and through social media by direct messaging and sharing/retweeting life safety and preparedness messages of federal partners.

 

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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.twitter.com/femaspox, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at www.twitter.com/fema_brock.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:00