FEMA sends out five mobile units to help in state and local recovery

FEMA sends out five mobile units to help in state and local recovery

The Federal Emergency Management Agency deployed five mobile operating units from across the country to support state and local governments in their Hurricane Floyd recovery efforts.

FEMA Mobile Emergency Response Support detachments from Thomasville, Ga.; Denton, Texas; Denver; Maynard, Mass; and Bothell, Wash., set up disaster field offices on Sept. 16 across the areas in the path of the storm, said Steve Levinsohn, director of FEMA's Mobile Operating Division.

The five MERS detachments have telephones, computers, printers and fax machines that access FEMA's WAN to support local fire and police departments (see story, Page 40).

FEMA also sent personnel from the Mobile Air Transportable Telecommunicating System and Information Technology Emergency Response branches in Barryville, Va., to Columbia, S.C., and Piscataway, N.J., to set up interim operating facilities for satellite communications. The network supplies voice access to the FEMA Switch Network and WAN, he said.

The biggest problem FEMA ran into during Floyd was mobilizing too early.

'We have a lot of assets to bear and the states need them,' Levinsohn said. 'However, you don't want to get in the way of people evacuating as we bring in our equipment.'

'Frank Tiboni

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