Specially-trained personnel from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the California National Guard (CNG) with emergency response and management expertise have been deployed to assist with emergency response activities in Florida and neighboring states.
During a two-week deployment, Cal OES and CNG personnel will use their specialized technical skills to help Floridian emergency management officials at Florida’s State Emergency Operations Center in to support the state’s response to Hurricane Matthew.
Cal OES is currently monitoring resource requests being submitted under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) process from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. Other fellow EMAC member states are also responding to requests from the affected areas, and coordinating nationwide in support of the ongoing efforts to Hurricane Matthew.
State Emergency Operations Centers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia are fully activated, while the Tennessee Emergency Operation Center is monitoring the situation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established Incident Support Bases at Fort Bragg/Pope Airfield, North Carolina and Albany, Georgia.
“As an integral part of the nation’s mutual-aid system and in support of Hurricane Matthew, Cal OES’ State Operations Center, Advance Team Coordination Branch, continues to monitor resource requests and situational awareness,” said Erika Baker, an EMAC coordinator for Cal OES.
Hurricane Matthew, with sustained winds of 120 mph and total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches, has weakened to a Category 3 hurricane and is forecast to move along the east coast of Florida peninsula through tonight, and near the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday.
More than 440,000 customers in Florida alone were without power, as were about 220 combined in Georgia and South Carolina, according to the Department of Energy. Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for coastal counties in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
President Obama signed Emergency Declarations for Florida, Georgia and South Carolina on Oct. 6.
“As we’ve experienced in the past several months, disasters continue to impact states throughout our nation,” Baker said. “It is critical that California stand ready to support those states in need and in turn be able to call upon other states when needed.”
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 impacted by a disaster to request and send resources across state borders.