California Stepping Up to Aid with Hurricane Sandy Relief
Sacramento – As millions of people across the eastern seaboard and Midwest grapple with the destruction and clean-up from Hurricane Sandy, California is doing its part to aid with emergency management resources.
In anticipation of Sandy’s arrival, ten members of California’s Urban Search & Rescue Incident Support Teams were sent to Virginia and other east coast states on Saturday in support of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requests. These teams included first responders from Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange County.
Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown directed the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) and the California National Guard to send assistance to the east coast to aid in responding to Hurricane Sandy.
On Monday, the California National Guard sent a military transport aircraft carrying two helicopters and two highly-trained Pararescue teams with their equipment to Charlotte, North Carolina. Other members of California’s aerial fleet are also being deployed including: a Boeing C17, two C130 aircraft, and two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters.
A total of 83 personnel will soon be positioned close to the affected areas for quick deployment. These teams are trained in medical aid, search and rescue, and other emergency response activities.
CalEMA is also working with the California Utilities Emergency Association to deploy crews and equipment to assist with the region’s widespread power outages.
California residents interested in assisting the victims of Hurricane Sandy are being encouraged to do so through the American Red Cross. Donations can be accepted online or via text message. A message of REDCROSS texted to the number 90999 will automatically donate $10 to the organization’s disaster relief efforts. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. Message and data rates may apply.
Hurricane Sandy is a powerful reminder to always be prepared for any emergency or disaster that may arise. Does your household have an emergency kit? Has it been updated to reflect the needs of children, pets, elderly family members or others? If you need assistance with establishing or updating your kit, visit http://www.ready.gov.
And as Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, I will be watching the emergency response to this disaster closely to identify ways that we, as Californians, can learn to be better prepared for disasters on our coast.