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. She’s keeping us updated on how her office is responding to Hurricane Gustav.
Our Regional Administrator set the tone in today’s meeting, “People in harm’s way along the gulf coast are depending on EPA to respond to their needs. They could not be better served than they are by the federal, state, and local partners who are ready, tried and proven through hard earned experience in recovering from the environmental impacts of natural disasters. We will not let them down.”
Preparation efforts continue at EPA Region 6. In this morning’s meeting, we discussed when to begin flyer dissemination, fuel waivers, and when we expect to have people on the ground doing damage assessment. A Gustav website should come up later today detailing how Region 6 is preparing.
As Homeland Security Coordinator, my job during disasters is to work with our Regional Incident Coordination Team and also work with Response Support Corps deployment. We learned from Katrina and are using these lessons in our Hurricane Plan that we are following. We are setting objectives and timeframes for specific actions next week. I have been working on a deployment one-pager for Response Support Corps personnel. I have also been setting up a meeting schedule for next week’s Regional Incident Coordination Team. We continue to coordinate with State and Local officials. We continue to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.