About the author: Mary Kemp is currently the Homeland Security Coordinator in the Dallas, TX regional office. Mary started at EPA in 1985 and has worked in the asbestos, Superfund, and air programs.
There’s a flurry of activity today at EPA Region 6 . . . it’s Hurricane Season! This time it’s Gustav and as usual, it’s always on Labor Day Weekend! We are getting ready for what we think will be a pretty sizable hurricane. As discussed previously in Dan Heister’s blog on Incident Command, we have designated an Incident Commander, an Operations Section Chief, a Planning Section Chief and a Logistics Section Chief. We are checking on staff availability for next week, particularly in our Response Support Corp. Since Gustav is expected to make landfall somewhere in Texas or Louisiana on late Monday or Tuesday, we expect to be in full mode next week.
Within EPA, we manage major incidences through something called the Regional Incident Coordination Team (RICT). The RICT has been meeting to discuss plans for activation. EPA is coordinating with both Louisiana and Texas through conference calls. In fact, we have added a section to our website on hurricane preparedness. This page is also available in Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
Even though Gustav making landfall is still days away, it is always best to “lean forward” in preparation for the worst. In Region 6 that is what we are doing . . . preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.