State deploying employees to assist with hurricane response, recovery efforts

Date: 
October 09, 2017

State of Iowa employees continue to deploy to assist with hurricane response and recovery efforts. The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) is sending three employees to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The agency’s resources have been stretched thin following a record-setting hurricane season and wildfires burning in more than a dozen states.

Senior operations administrator Joyce Flinn will deploy on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, for a second two-week tour at FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) in Washington, D.C. There, she will serve as liaison for the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

Officials in areas impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are utilizing EMAC, a nationwide mutual aid compact. Through EMAC, impacted states can request assistance from experienced emergency management personnel and others who have the needed skills to aid response and recovery efforts.

Flinn’s primary mission is to ensure requested resources are delivered as quickly as possible, while also enforcing EMAC’s policies and procedures and coordinating with FEMA’s response activities. In late September, Flinn and senior response staff member Frank Klier completed the same mission on a two-week deployment to the NRCC.
Senior disaster recovery staff members Pat Hall and Dennis Harper deployed to Puerto Rico on Friday, October 6, 2017. Their deployment is expected to last 30 days. Hall and Harper have each been with HSEMD for more than 20 years and have led recovery efforts in Iowa during more than 30 presidential major disaster declarations.

HSEMD also provided virtual assistance to the U.S. Virgin Islands from Sept. 6-24, 2017, by coordinating its requests for assistance through EMAC.

EMAC is administered by the National Emergency Management Association and facilitates the sharing of resources among its 54 member states and U.S. territories when they are impacted by catastrophic disaster events. HSEMD and employees of other Iowa state agencies have provided assistance through EMAC for several disasters, including sending staff to New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and to Texas following Hurricane Ike in 2008.

You can learn more about EMAC by visiting emacweb.org.