WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Fifteen U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees from the Walla Walla District departed for the eastern states on Sunday, Oct. 28, in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s request to provide support to areas projected to be impacted by Hurricane Sandy, according to District emergency management officials here.
Walla Walla District sent 14 emergency power team members to assist FEMA emergency operations centers in three northeastern states: Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Additionally, an emergency power expert from Walla Walla District’s Little Goose Lock and Dam deployed Sunday to support FEMA Region III in their Philadelphia, Pa., emergency operations center.
The Walla Walla District maintains two of the Corps’ seven power teams, ready to deploy as part of the Corps’ Emergency Support Function (ESF) #3, public works and engineering-related support. The all-volunteer teams can provide backup electrical power generation anywhere an emergency makes the service needed. Team members agree to be in an on-call status, ready to deploy on short-notice when disaster strikes. Power team members directly support FEMA emergency management staging areas and operations centers.
Power team members currently deployed to support FEMA’s Hurricane Sandy operations represent a variety of career fields and come from duty locations throughout the Walla Walla District including:
- a maintenance management technician and a supervisory electrical engineer from Lower Granite Lock and Dam near Pomeroy, Wash.
- a power plant electrician crew supervisor from Lower Monumental Lock and Dam near Kahlotus, Wash.
- a power plant electrician from Little Goose Lock and Dam near Starbuck, Wash.
- a structural engineer and a power plant electrical planner from McNary Lock and Dam near Umatilla, Ore.
- an environmental resource specialist from the Regulatory Division’s Boise Field Office in Idaho.
- an operations project manager from Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake near Walla Walla, Wash.
- and, from the district headquarters in Walla Walla, Wash. -- a mechanical engineer, a project manager and an administrative officer from Programs and Project Management Branch; a procurement technician from Contracting Division; a Cost Engineering Branch supervisor; and an Electrical Design Section supervisor.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prepared and ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters. When disasters occur, it is not just a local Corps district or office that responds. Personnel and other resources are mobilized across the country to carry out response missions. The command is part of the federal government’s unified national response to disasters and emergencies and is the designated lead for ESF #3, public works and engineering-related support. The Corps conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities – the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act, and when mission assigned by FEMA, under the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Assistance Act.
In any disaster, the Corps’ top priorities are 1) support immediate emergency response priorities; 2) sustain lives with critical commodities, temporary emergency power and other needs; and 3) initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror. Check out http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/EmergencyOperations.aspx for more information about the Corps of Engineers’ emergency management mission and roles in supporting national disasters.
For information about the Corps’ support to FEMA in response to Hurricane Sandy, go online to http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/EmergencyOperations/HurricaneSeason/Sandy.aspx.
For more information about hurricane and severe storm activity, go online to the National Hurricane Center’s website at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.