Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced that Alabama is sending state personnel and resources to North Carolina to assist with hurricane response efforts.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) has received requests for assistance from North Carolina and South Carolina as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast. Currently AEMA has one mobile communication site vehicle, one AEMA staff member and one Mobile County responder in route to a staging area in North Carolina.
“As the East Coast makes preparations ahead of Hurricane Florence, Alabama will also be prepared to aid in any way we can,” Gov. Ivey said. “I spoke with the governors of North and South Carolina and offered our support. Alabama EMA will continue working with their counterparts in the Carolinas. Taking the necessary precautions ahead of time and having all hands-on deck to respond is of the utmost importance. Alabama stands ready to help.”
The Governor’s office said that the Mobile Communication Site Team will support the state of North Carolina in maintaining critical communication links for public safety radio communications. Their primary role will be to support their North Carolina counterparts as they experience an overwhelming need to coordinate their state response efforts.
“We are leaning forward to support those states that may be impacted by Hurricane Florence” said Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings. “We are a close-knit team in FEMA Region IV, and when one state is threatened, we all stand ready to assist our incredible neighbors to prepare, respond and recover to save lives and mitigate human suffering. Alabama is always ready to assist when there is a need.”
Additional support currently under consideration for states forecasted for impact by hurricane Florence include: a nurse strike team, emergency operations center personnel, damage assessment teams and debris management personnel, mental health professionals, volunteer services personnel, Maxwell incident support base, electrical line maintenance crews, and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is prepared to expedite passage of vehicles for disaster response through Alabama to affected areas on the East Coast.
Resource deployments are being coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Since its enactment by Congress in 1996, largely as a response to the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, EMAC functions as a mutual aid partnership between states that allows for state-to-state support during disasters. Requests for assistance are sent to other states during catastrophic events or when another state has specialized personnel or equipment needed to respond to an emergency situation. Services rendered by the state sending aid are reimbursed by the state requesting assistance.
President Donald J. Trump (R) released a statement on Hurricane Florence and other pending disasters:
“This week, three major storms threaten American communities across an area spanning nearly 5,000 miles: Hurricane Florence (the Southeastern coast), Tropical Storm Olivia (Hawaii), and Tropical Storm Isaac (the Caribbean).”
“Hurricane Florence in particular poses a catastrophic threat to millions living in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia,” the President said. “The storm is expected to produce total rainfall of 20 to 30 inches, with isolated amounts up to 40 inches. “These numbers are hard to comprehend, but based on past experience, this amount of rain produces life-threatening, catastrophic flooding,” the National Weather Service tweeted.”
Pres. Trump met on Wednesday with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FEMA Administrator Brock Long, and other senior officials yesterday in the Oval Office to discuss preparations.
“Hurricane Florence is setting out to be a devastating event,” Administrator Long said, comparing its potential to Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
The Administration is focused on helping state leaders and the general public alike before, during, and after the storm makes landfall.
“We’re supporting the governors with achieving their life safety evacuation and movements,” Administrator Long said. “We’re focused on mass care and sheltering. And then we’ll be focused on helping them to execute their response and recovery goals.”
Earlier this week, President Trump approved emergency declarations for South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
“I’ve spoken with the governors,” Pres. Trump said yesterday. “They’re prepared. We’re prepared.”
The White House is urging all Americans in the path of these storms: Be safe, be ready, and follow the advice of local officials.
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