Now that is how you do it - FEMA preparedness

Since Florida is not in my backyard, I just get the daily FEMA digests outlining what is going on. Here is just an excerpt:

    • FEMA deployed ten Urban Search & Rescue task force teams to Florida and Georgia to support search and rescue missions. Additional teams from around the country are ready to deploy to affected states and tribes as necessary. FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are on the ground in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These teams are in place to support preparation and anticipated response activities, and ensure there are no unmet needs.
    • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting daily coordination calls with industry, impacted states and the leadership of the Electricity Sub-Sector Coordinating Council to discuss preparations for the storm and plans for timely restoration.
    • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has eight Disaster Medical Assistance Teams, two National Veterinary Response Teams, a Public Health System Deployment Force team, disaster mortuary assessment personnel and an Incident Response Coordination Team. In addition, the department is promoting health related preparedness actions during disasters and evacuations.
    • The United States Geological Survey (USGS) deployed hundreds of storm surge sensors and rapid deployment gages, including approximately 80 sensors along Florida’s east coast to provide data that will assist water managers in determining the peak and duration of storm surge as it approaches Florida. The information supports disaster recovery efforts and critical weather forecasts for the National Weather Service and FEMA. The information collected will be distributed live on the USGS Flood Viewer to help federal and state officials gauge the extent and the storm's damage as it passes through each area.
    • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) deployed staff to the FEMA NRCC and Regional Response Coordination Center to support the IMAT teams in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. In addition, liaisons are deployed to monitor and inspect USACE-operated dams. Non-federal dams are being inspected at the request of state partners.
    • The American Red Cross (ARC) is supporting a massive shelter operation in the affected areas. More than 27,000 people stayed the night in nearly 200 Red Cross and community emergency evacuation shelters in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The Red Cross has also prepositioned workers, shelter supplies, ready-to-eat meals, clean-up and comfort kits to support the response efforts.

This is just a fraction of the agencies involved and most of them have specific websites for more information. This is how you run a disaster. The amount of practice drills and rehearsals is large but the results are well worth it.

FEMA really got its start with the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. None of the agencies were able to interoperate - not local police and fire and Red Cross, not Federal relief agencies - no one. Out of this was developed a common Incident Command System and everyone from the top brass at FEMA and the Military down to the citizen CERT responder is trained in this so when aid comes, they can slot right into the existing chain of command and communications accuracy and efficiency is maintained.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 7, 2016 6:05 PM.

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