Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta has directed that the Department of Defense provide any available disaster response resources requested by Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies as affected states respond to Hurricane Sandy. We continue to support FEMA and our Federal partners, with U.S. Northern Command and the National Guard providing lifesaving and life-sustaining assets in the aftermath of the storm.
Here is today's update on DoD's response to Hurricane Sandy:
As of 11:00 a.m. today, there are approximately 7,400 National Guard forces on state active duty or in the process of activating for duty in support of the governors of NY, MA, VA, NJ, DE, CT and MD. These forces are providing critical assistance to local first responders and FEMA with support at evacuation shelters, damage assessments, route clearance, debris reduction and removal, search and rescue, and delivery of essential equipment and supplies.
DoD has staged four medium rotary wing utility aircraft and four medium rotary wing Search and Rescue aircraft at Hanscom AFB, MA, for potential logistical and search and rescue operations along the coasts of MA, CT, and RI in support of FEMA.
DoD has approved a request for District of Columbia National Guard support for traffic control points and high-water evacuations.
DoD installations throughout the North East are available as requested by FEMA. These include Westover Air Reserve Base, MA; Joint Base McGuire-Dix, Lakehurst, NJ; and Ft. Devens, MA.
DoD has placed medium- and heavy-lift helicopters, para rescue swimmers, and aerial refueling aircraft on 24-hour prepare-to-deploy status in response to anticipated FEMA requests to mitigate or respond to the effects of the storm.
Additional engineer units and logistical support units are preparing to support the response in anticipation of any requests by FEMA.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing public works and engineering expertise to include damage modeling, storm surge modeling, temporary emergency power, and coastal preparations in support of FEMA. Other response teams remain on alert for future FEMA missions to include: Debris Management, Commodities Distribution, Infrastructure Assessment, Temporary Roofing, Critical Public Facilities, Water Planning, and Temporary Housing.
USACE is currently working the New York District Emergency Operations Center and Rock Island District Unwatering Task Force management cell. The unwatering cell includes technical experts that understand flood risk modeling/inundation. This team can advise on the location and use of pumping capability, the size/scope of pumping capability should be used, and can do some contract management.
The Defense Logistics Agency has doubled the amount of fuel it is ready to provide for emergency backup generators in anticipation of requests for assistance from FEMA and Department of Energy.