The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has deployed seven Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) task forces and two Incident Support Teams to areas in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi impacted by Hurricane Katrina, including teams from California, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Three other USAR teams are in the process of deployment.
USAR teams from Los Angeles, California and Fairfax County, Virginia are assessing damage and assisting Gulf Coast residents afflicted by Hurricane Katrina. In response to a formal request made through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the Los Angeles Fire Department has dispatched a cadre of specially-trained fire fighters, including members of Los Angeles County, CA Local 112 to respond to acute life safety needs created by storm activity.
Fourteen Los Angeles fire fighters, four LAFD vehicles, inflatable boats, technical equipment and supplies will arrive in the Gulf Coast region via military air transport. These USAR fire fighters, certified in multiple forms of water rescue, will also bring compassion and support to those impacted by the wrath of Katrina.
Meanwhile, 34 members of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team, including members of Fairfax County, VA Local 2068, left Tuesday morning for Mississippi by bus.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is managing federal assistance to affected areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama declared major disasters. Working through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), DHS is coordinating disaster relief and live-saving efforts. FEMA has deployed 23 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from across the United States to staging areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Louisiana and is moving into the impacted areas. In addition, seven Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) task forces and two Incident Support Teams have been deployed and prepositioned in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi, including teams from Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.