Four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville employees deployed to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, over the weekend to conduct critical public facilities assessments following Hurricane Irma.
Jason Adams, subject matter expert; Jason Cade, action officer; Wesley Bushnell, mission manager; and Shah Alam, mission specialist are part of a management team sent to the Virgin Islands.
Previously one Huntsville Center employee, Steven Pautz, deployed to Austin, Texas, to provide contracting officer representative support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency hurricane recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey.
In addition, Huntsville Center’s Temporary Housing Planning and Response Team is ready to deploy when needed.
“Hurricane recovery is a high priority for USACE,” said Col. John Hurley, Huntsville Center commander. “Huntsville Center’s Temporary Housing PRT and other volunteers are standing by, and are ready to go where needed.”
Following a natural disaster or emergency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can manage the construction of temporary critical public facilities for impacted communities as part of the federal government’s unified national response.
The Corps helps build temporary public facilities for use while longer term repairs are made or more permanent replacement structures are built. The critical public facilities mission can include constructing temporary fire stations, schools, medical facilities and more depending on the needs of the impacted community.
The critical public facilities mission is technically similar to the temporary housing mission, which can provide temporary housing units and temporary housing communities following a disaster, and is often managed by teams with experience managing temporary housing missions.
USACE is prepared and ready to respond to natural and human-made disasters and overseas contingencies. When disasters occur, USACE teams and other resources are mobilized from across the country to assist our local districts and offices to deliver our response missions.
- USACE has more than 50 specially-trained response teams supported by emergency contracts to perform a wide range of public works and engineering-related support missions.
- USACE uses pre-awarded contracts that can be quickly activated for missions such as debris removal, temporary roofing, commodities distribution, and generator installation.
Every year, USACE, as part of the federal government’s unified national response to disasters and emergencies, deploys hundreds of people to provide technical engineering expertise and to promote capacity development at home and abroad.
- In 2016, USACE had 1,096 personnel deployments in response to one or more of 33 disaster declarations.
USACE serves as the lead agency to respond with public works and engineering support and to coordinate long-term infrastructure recovery.
USACE conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities – Public Law 84-99 (Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies), and when mission assigned by FEMA under the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Assistance Act.
- Under Public Law 84-99 (Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies), USACE provides disaster preparedness services and advanced planning measures designed to reduce the amount of damage caused by an impending disaster.
- Under the Stafford Act, the Corps supports the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency in carrying out the National Response Plan, which calls on 30 federal departments and agencies to provide coordinated disaster relief and recovery operations.
In any disaster, USACE’s three top priorities are:
- Support immediate life-saving and life-safety emergency response priorities;
- Sustain lives with critical temporary emergency power and other needs;
- Initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.