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Published:May 7th, 2007 05:29 EST
FEMA, Federal, State And Locals Swift To Respond To Kansas Tornado

FEMA, Federal, State And Locals Swift To Respond To Kansas Tornado

By SOP newswire

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As state and local first responders, volunteers and search and rescue crews arrived on scene to sort through the devastation of the May 4 severe storms and deadly tornadoes, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was deploying critical emergency equipment, food supplies and disaster assistance personnel to support the recovery effort in Kansas. Local and state officials were able to conduct emergency operations in a FEMA Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicle that arrived yesterday in Greensburg, Kansas. Now with the signing of the federal disaster declaration by President Bush last night, victims of the tornado can apply for disaster assistance for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses.

Two Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers arrived to help victims register for disaster assistance, with a third on its way. For the hundreds residing in shelters, FEMA will send personnel to the shelters to assist victims with registration.

Preliminary Damage Assessment Teams, with representatives from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration along with state and local officials, began assessing damages today. Also, FEMA’s temporary housing assistance teams, in coordination with the state, will begin identifying temporary housing requirements.

FEMA Administrator David Paulison will tour the community of Greensburg tomorrow, May 7, and visit with state and local officials. Paulison will speak with residents and community officials to determine what more the federal government can do to help people restore their lives, and the community rebuild and recover. Paulison said the response was well coordinated and executed. “I have to commend the local, state and voluntary agency response, said Paulison. “ We were provided clear guidance and communication on what was needed at the right time and place.”

FEMA has moved critical supplies into the affected area including 15,000 gallons of water for approximately 5,000 people and 21,000 Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) to feed 10,000 people. Staging areas for additional supplies and resources are being identified with the assistance of the state.

FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror. 

Release Number: HQ-07-063