Posts Tagged ‘FEMA’

Preparing for Hurricane Earl

September 2nd, 2010

As I write this, powerful Hurricane Earl is spinning in the Atlantic Ocean with winds of more than 125 mph, just off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  According to the experts at the National Hurricane Center, it’s expected to follow the coast up into Canada over the next several days. Although the storm remains offshore for now, hurricane watches and warnings have been issued for coastal areas along nearly the entire eastern seaboard.  As a precaution, some towns have ordered evacuations to ensure the safety and security of their residents. 

Click to watch Hurricane Earl move up the Atlantic Coast, thanks to our friends at NOAA.

The Corps is also preparing to respond in the event of a disaster, and we are putting many of our emergency management personnel on alert and have pre-positioned some of our personal along the Atlantic Coast.  Our role in any event like this is to assist the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA by coordinating and organizing public works and engineering-related support. Our response teams are available to support debris removal, purchase and delivery of essential commodities like water and ice, as well as to provide temporary emergency power, temporary housing, temporary roofing, infrastructure assessment, and support to urban search and rescue missions. 

I pray that Earl stays its course and heads away from the coast.  But should it decide to change course for the worse, our teams are standing by, ready to serve! 

Preparedness is a shared responsibility.  For tips on what you and your family can do to prepare for a hurricane, click here: 




Emergency Response ,

Are You Ready or Are You READY?

September 11th, 2009
Here at USACE, we fulfill a vital mission in our response to a variety of emergencies. We spend a lot of time, money and effort preparing, so that we are ready to act when people find themselves in harm’s way.

What is true for our organization in planning for disasters, applies personally to everyone. Now is the time to plan for the unimaginable. Planning protects what you hold dear and reduces the potential for devastating losses.

September is National Preparedness Month, a nationwide effort sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s READY Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps. We are taking part in this nationwide effort to encourage individuals, families and communities to prepare for emergencies… so I wanted to use this forum to encourage you to do the same.

This year, National Preparedness Month is focusing on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness, and will help Americans understand what it truly means to be READY. Preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks and extra food in the pantry. Being READY includes: getting an emergency supply kit; making a family emergency plan; being informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses; and getting involved in community efforts such as Citizen Corps.

There are simple steps you can take to better prepare yourself and your family. I encourage you to take a look at the family emergency plan template and emergency supply kit checklist available at and for more information. I also encourage you to visit to explore ways that you can get involved in your community.

By taking a few simple steps now, each of us can make sure we are better prepared for the next emergency or disaster.

Emergency Response , , , , ,

Bracing For Gustav

August 30th, 2008

Today is the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and we are busy readying for Hurricane Gustav! As people throughout the Gulf Coast brace for the storm, and take all the necessary precautions, we stand ready to support the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA in the many mission areas we have in disaster response: debris removal; buying and delivering water, ice and other critical necessities; providing temporary power, housing and roofing; infrastructure assessment; and support to urban search and rescue missions.

While a large portion of the Gulf Coast may face Gustav’s landfall, much of the Nation’s attention is focused on the storm’s threat to Southeast Louisiana. It’s important to understand that New Orleans now has the best Hurricane and storm damage reduction system in its history. The system is stronger than pre-Katrina. Many levees are now internally stronger, better constructed, armored with cement on the top to prevent dirt from washing away, and have improved floodwalls. There is stronger construction than before at Hurricane Katrina breach sites, and transition points between flood walls and levees have been strengthened.

In the New Orleans metropolitan area, the gates and temporary pumping stations built after Katrina at the mouths of the three outfall canals are ready. Computerized systems remotely monitor water levels in the canals, and interior pump stations have been repaired and improved.

Preparing additional protection in preparation for Hurricane Gustav

Preparing additional protection in preparation for Hurricane Gustav

As an innovative flood-fighting measure, to provide even more support, we are placing sand-filled HESCO baskets along an 1800-foot section of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal and Lock’s west floodwall, to alleviate the risk of water pressure from potential high water levels in the canal.


We're doing everything we can to brace for Gustav!

We're doing everything we can to brace for Gustav!

We also have three contracts for light helicopter support to quickly deploy flood fighting teams, and an agreement with the Coast Guard, so that as soon as the weather clears, they’ll fly us around to survey the area for damage.

We are working closely with the parish and state leaders, the National Guard, and FEMA to protect the people of the Gulf Coast. I am confident that we are all much better prepared to respond to a storm today, than we were three years ago – and that is a direct result of the selfless, dedicated efforts of so many of you.

For those of you in the possible path of the storm, and the hundreds of volunteers who will deploy if needed to help with the flood-fight and recovery, please be safe. Our prayers are with you, and all who may be affected by Gustav.

Emergency Response, Gulf Coast Recovery, Levees , , , , , ,