Federal Govt. Continues To Ramp Up Resources, Support For Affected States By Hurricane Matthew

By  //  October 11, 2016

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The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners continue to mobilize additional resources and personnel to support state and local efforts as record rains and flooding remains a significant concern for public safety

(FEMA) – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners continue to mobilize additional resources and personnel to support state and local efforts as record rains and flooding remains a significant concern for public safety. 

Local and federal officials are also working to clear debris from major roads, ensure coastal ports are safe to re-open and support efforts to restore power in affected areas.

At the direction of President Obama, FEMA is leading the federal government’s efforts to provide assistance and support in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Recovery efforts are under way in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina and response efforts continue in North Carolina, including thousands of water rescues supported by federal responders and assets in the state.

There are more than 800 FEMA personnel on the ground supporting response and recovery efforts including Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams; and seven Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs). There are three active Urban Search & Rescue teams with seven additional teams on standby, if needed.

To date, USAR teams have conducted 75 rescues.

FEMA is transporting prepositioned commodities to affected areas as requests are submitted. More than 5.2 million meals, 3.7 million liters of water, and 72,000 blankets for state, were made available for state, tribal and local officials to distribute to individuals should they be requested by states. Thus far, states have received the following commodities:

  • More than 3 million meals; 800,000 million liters of water;
  • More than 580,000 meals, 649,000 liters of water; 17,200 blankets;
  • North Carolina: More than 1.39 million meals; 1.85 million liters of water; 49,000 blankets;
  • South Carolina: More than 267,000 meals; 400,000 liters of water; 4,400 blankets.

The National Business Emergency Operation Center (NBEOC) continues to coordinate with more than 375 national businesses about the effects of Hurricane Matthew and flooding.  Businesses are encouraged to use established social media hashtags to report public safety concerns, share local access areas that remain close or inaccessible, and the status of reopening business hours. The hashtags are:  Florida: #FLOpen4Biz; Georgia: #GAOpen4Biz; South Carolina: #SCOpen4Biz; and North Carolina: #NCOpen4Biz.

On Saturday, October 8, President Obama signed major disaster declarations for Florida and Georgia making federal funding available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for debris removal and emergency protective measures for affected areas. Damage assessments are underway and additional designations and forms of assistance may be added at a later date.

Ongoing Support and Preparedness Efforts:

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance teams are deployed to Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas and are working with local authorities to coordinate relief efforts. Updates on the status operations throughout the Caribbean are available by CLICKING HERE and on individual Embassy websites.

U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad are encouraged to enroll their travel plans on the agency’s website using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and to read the “Country Specific” information also found on the site.

The National Guard continues support to states impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Additional Guard members are now activated in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia to assist with high water transport. The number of total Guard personnel on duty is expected to drop from more than 8,000 Sunday to approximately 7,500 today.

The American Red Cross continues supporting a massive shelter operation in the affected areas. Nearly 7,000 people stayed the night in 156 Red Cross and community shelters in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

The American Red Cross has more than 3,000 trained disaster workers on the ground in addition to 149 pre-positioned response vehicles and 100 trailer loads filled water, ready-to-eat meals, shelter and kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies and comfort kits, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more.

For Hurricane Matthew shelter locations, CLICK HERE or call 1-800-768-8048.

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donations as Hurricane Matthew has forced the cancellation of many blood drives. Residents who are in an unaffected area, are encouraged to give blood or platelets, to help patients in the affected areas with great need. CLICK HERE  or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) deployed more than 500 AmeriCorps members, including FEMA Corps, to areas affected by Hurricane Matthew.

ABOVE VIDEOFEMA Administrator Craig Fugate met with President Obama about Hurricane Matthew on Friday as the storm slammed Florida’s southeast coast. Fugate joins CBSN to discuss FEMA’s relief efforts for the areas targeted by the storm (CBS)

These deployments include 59 teams of FEMA Corps members – 471 AmeriCorps members in total – that have been pre-staged to support FEMA’s response to affected states. An additional 90 AmeriCorps members are supporting shelter and emergency operations in Florida and South Carolina. 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 Agriculture (USDA) encourages producers with crops insured under the Federal crop insurance program to immediately contact their local crop insurance agent to report any damage to insured crops after the storm.

For assistance with Rural Development financed housing, business or community assistance information, and to get help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service for debris removal, CLICK HERE.

Additional disaster resource information as well as food safety, livestock and pet guidance is available by CLICKING HERE. USDA Foods’ inventories have been requested from all potentially impacted state agencies, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) staff is prepared to respond to any state requests for disaster SNAP and/or other SNAP-related needs. Additional information about USDA’s disaster assistance resources is available here.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues to engage in dam safety inspections throughout South Carolina, testing more than 80 privately-owned dams at the state’s request. USACE also continues to support damage assessments to coastal regions.

U.S. Northern Command continues to support seven Incident Support Bases and Federal Staging Areas in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to support federal and state resources needed for response. Additionally, Defense Coordinating Officers and Defense Coordinating Elements remain in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with a Defense Coordinating Officer in Virginia. Dual-status commanders are designated in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Members of the U.S. Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Disaster Medical Assistance Team from Pennsylvania continue providing medical support to a hospital in Brevard County, Florida, assisting with a surge in demand for emergency department services. More than 700 personnel from the National Disaster Medical System, U.S. Public Health Service, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response remain pre-positioned or on alert ready to assist in other communities as needed. HHS agencies, continue to promote public health messaging and staying healthy after the storm at www.phe.gov/hurricanematthew and www.cdc.gov.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with FEMA, issued an official memo to impacted states regarding immigration enforcement activities. The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), in coordination with FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination and FEMA’s Office for Equal Rights, issued a notice to ensure that individuals and communities affected by the disaster do not face unlawful discrimination in the provision of federally assisted services.

Additionally, CRCL and FEMA ODIC holding daily calls of the Interagency Coordinating Council on Individuals with Disabilities (ICC) to share information and resources with interagency partners on any issues impacting individuals with disabilities in the affected states.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services encourages those whose application, petition or immigration status may be impacted by Hurricane Matthew to call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TDD for the deaf and hard of hearing: 800-767-1833) to learn how to request certain types of relief. For more information, visit here.

The U.S. Coast Guard continues working with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, NOAA, local port authorities, and other partners to reopen the Georgia ports of Savannah and Brunswick. The teams are surveying channel depths to ensure safe navigation for commercial vessels.

The Coast Guard also continues to assist in search and rescue efforts and remains poised to assist in future rescue efforts from those affected by Hurricane Matthew to ensure the safety of individuals that may be in distress from this storm.

U.S. Department of Energy continues working with energy partners in affected areas as power restoration continues. Requirements for restoration vary state-by-state and with local jurisdictions, which may cause delays for some communities and neighborhoods.

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development deployed housing assessment teams in each affected state.  The teams are compiling damage data on all of HUD’s Multifamily and Public Housing apartments.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s United States Geological Survey deployed more than 40 teams to the affected areas to collect the surge sensors and gages that identify high water marks. USGS has additional crews making flood measurements and repairing stream gages damaged by river flooding.  USGS is placing employee safety as the top priority.

Access issues in some locations and continued significant flooding are impacting field work efforts. Information on all sensors and gages is by CLICKING HERE.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service reports that nine Atlantic coast national parks in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina remain closed in the wake of Hurricane Matthew as the NPS continues to determine the extent of damage caused by the storm’s wind and water. The NPS has deployed its Eastern Incident Management Team to Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve to coordinate and oversee the assessment and recovery operations at all of the affected parks.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that 20 wildlife refuges are closed and each will remain so until it is safe for staff to return.

The Department of Justice deployed 77 federal law enforcement personnel in the affected states, with an additional 50 personnel on stand-by for assignment, if necessary.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to conduct oil and hazardous material field assessments. In Florida, EPA completed more than 100 field assessments, reporting no hazardous materials. Additionally, EPA is working with affected states to incorporate debris assignments.

The Federal Communications Commission continues monitoring the status of communications networks and coordinating with providers and government partners on communications status and restoration throughout the affected areas.

ABOVE VIDEO: Former FEMA Director Michael Brown on relief efforts in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew. (FOX NEWS)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) divisions in the southern region continue working with contact permitting agencies & commercial motor vehicle law enforcement agencies in their states to assist with necessary emergency waivers and permits.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) deployed staff to Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to support FEMA efforts to establish Joint Field Offices and Disaster Response Centers.  GSA assessment teams are preparing to survey potential damage to federal facilities and will ensure any necessary repairs are undertaken quickly.

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration deployed about a dozen personnel from division offices to assist with the storm response.  Bridge and road inspectors will make damage assessments in affected areas are beginning.

No Decision Yet On FEMA Assistance For Brevard County Residents With Hurricane DamageRelated Story:
No Decision Yet On FEMA Assistance For Brevard County Residents With Hurricane Damage

Up-to-date information about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities is available.

FEMA advises anyone in the impacted areas looking to help or assist with response and recovery efforts can get involved by contacting their American Red Cross chapter or their local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) chapter to connect to many organizations working on the ground that are in need of volunteers.

To get in touch with the local VOAD in the affected areas, visit:

CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS


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