Emergency management specialists from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) have been deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with emergency response and recovery efforts for two devastating hurricanes.
During the two-week deployment, California personnel will use their specialized emergency management operations skills to help Puerto Rican officials as they respond to the impacts of both Hurricane Irma and Maria. Duties include assisting requests via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) from Puerto Rico as well as the coordination of other EMAC requests.
The three-person Cal OES team, which has extensive emergency operations experience and have been involved in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters in California including wildfires, flooding, winter storms, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, earthquakes and drought, will depart Monday for the Emergency Operations Center at the San Juan Convention Center to support operations through EMAC.
Previously, Cal OES coordinated the deployment of three Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces from Los Angeles County Fire Department, Riverside Fire Department and Sacramento City Fire Department – including 27 personnel from each unit – to Puerto Rico. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deployed its 11-member US&R Incident Support Team, while the California National Guard (CNG) C-130 aircraft was diverted to Puerto Rico for airlift support. The CNG also provided airlift flight controllers and 13 security personnel to San Juan Airport.
Cal OES continues to monitor operations in Puerto Rico and requests for additional EMAC assistance. EMAC, which includes the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized mutual-aid system that provides the foundation for states to request and send resources across their borders when impacted by a disaster.