17-104 Walla Walla District deploys seven more employees to support hurricane-response missions

Published Sept. 19, 2017

WALLA WALLA, Wash. –  Seven more U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District employees deployed during the past week to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) hurricane response and recovery efforts, according to District emergency management officials. 

Six of those most-recently deployed joined 11 other, previously deployed, emergency-power response team members from the District as they were relocated from Hurricane Harvey missions in Texas to support Hurricane Irma missions in Florida. Those six additional power team members include a mechanical engineer, an environmental resource specialist, an electrical engineer and a realty specialist (all four from the District headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington); a power plant electrician from Lower Monumental Lock and Dam, near Kahlotus, Washington; and a maintenance worker from Little Goose Lock and Dam, near Starbuck, Washington.   

Additionally, a power plant electrician from Dworshak Dam and Reservoir near Ahsahka, Idaho, deployed with Omaha District’s temporary-roofing response team to support FEMA missions in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Walla Walla District maintains one of the Corps’ seven emergency power-response teams, ready to deploy as part of the Corps’ Emergency Support Function (ESF) #3, public works and engineering-related support. Power team members directly support FEMA emergency management staging areas and operations centers, conducting assessments and installing generators to help get critical public facilities operational following disasters. 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. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prepared and ready to respond to natural and human-made disasters. The Corps has more than 50 specially-trained response teams supported by emergency contracts to perform a wide range of public works and engineering-related support missions. When disasters occur, Corps teams and other resources are mobilized from across the country to assist our local districts and offices to deliver our response missions. The Corps is part of the federal government’s unified national response to disasters and emergencies, and serves as the lead agency to respond with public works and engineering support, and to coordinate long-term infrastructure recovery. The Corps conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities – the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act, and mission-assigned by FEMA, under the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Assistance Act.

In any disaster, the Corps’ top priorities are 1) support immediate life-saving and life-safety 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. For information about FEMA’s response to recent hurricane activity, visit their website www.fema.gov

Currently, the Corps has 50 open FEMA Mission Assignments, 15 of those are for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Check out www.usace.army.mil/Missions/EmergencyOperations.aspx for more information about the Corps of Engineers’ emergency management mission and roles in supporting national disasters.



Release no. 17-104