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News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

As Hurricane Florence intensifies, FEMA gears up for disaster response

Date Posted: 2018-09-11
Source: USA Today

Photo by Grace Beahm Alford, The Post And Courier, via AP

WASHINGTON – FEMA is ramping up preparations for Hurricane Florence as the powerful Category 4 storm rumbles towards the Carolinas.

As of Monday evening, the emergency agency had positioned more than 80,000 liters of water, 402,000 meals, 1,200 cots and 34 generators at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, North Carolina.

In addition, both Fort Bragg and North Field Air Base near Columbia, South Carolina, are serving as "incident support bases" to distribute more supplies, including meals, water, blankets when needed. And FEMA teams have been sent to both states where they will serve as "rapidly deployable assets, with expertise in operations, logistics, planning, and recovery."

Still smarting from the criticism hurled at the agency following Hurricane Maria, the Trump administration wants to leave nothing to chance as it faces its first major storm in nearly a year.

Nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria, making it the second deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. The toll far exceeded the original estimates, leading to verbal reprimands that FEMA did not do its job.

"Because FEMA and the federal government were simply unprepared, thousands of our fellow American citizens have perished – and we now know that the poor and elderly were the most at risk," Rep. Bennie Thompson D-Miss., ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement when the revised death toll was released two weeks ago.

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