BATON ROUGE, LA — Several teams of emergency managers from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and other state agencies deployed to New York today to assist with the continued response to Hurricane Sandy. Another team of disaster recovery experts will travel to New Jersey this weekend to assist that state for a month.
“Having recently returned from assisting the state of New York, I know firsthand how important Louisiana’s experience in disaster response and recovery will be to helping those affect by Hurricane Sandy," Kevin Davis, GOHSEP Director, said. "We are so thankful for all of the support given to us by other states following disaster in Louisiana and we are happy to be able to continue to return the favor.”
In New York, a two-person GOHSEP Logistics Team will work in New York City’s Emergency Operations Center to assist with ongoing response and recovery operations.
A five-person team of responders also will travel to Brooklyn, New York to provide additional support to its EOC. This team includes two workers from Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development to support the Transportation Desk, one staffer from Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services to support the Human Services Desk, one person from the Department of Health and Hospitals to support the Medical Desk, and one person from the Attorney General's Office to support the Public Safety Desk.
Later this week, a four-person team of experienced disaster recovery workers from GOHSEP will deploy to Lincroft, New Jersey to help local responders develop rebuilding projects in 21 affected counties. This team is scheduled to remain in New Jersey for a month.
Earlier this month, an employee of the Lt. Governor’s office also deployed to New Jersey to assist that state with managing donations.
Louisiana is assisting New York and New Jersey through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is a formal agreement between states to provide assistance to each other during a disaster. EMAC was established in 1996 to allow states that are not in a declared disaster area to aid states in need.
In recent years, GOHSEP's highly trained EMAC team has been called upon to assist in past emergencies such as Hurricane Irene in Maryland and Vermont, flooding in Tennessee and North Dakota, the 2011 tornado in Alabama, winter weather in Maryland and an ice storm in Kentucky.
In 2005, New York provided Louisiana with more than 1,300 personnel including law enforcement, Search and Rescue teams, National Guard troops, EMAC A-Teams along with local and State Police in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2008, the state sent 60 National Guard and New York Fire Department Incident Management teams to support Louisiana following Hurricane Gustav.
In 2005, New Jersey provided Louisiana with more than 900 personnel, including search and rescue teams, state police, hazmat teams, fire support, veterinarians, National Guard members and an EMAC “A team” to help with the response from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2008, the state sent 37 personnel, including a Swift Water Task Force and an EMAC “A team.”