By Colleen Machado, Fort Campbell CourierFebruary 19, 2009
FORT CAMPBELL, KY -- FEB 19, 2009 -- The effects of the ice storm Jan. 27 lingered on for weeks as many people were still without power. Fort Campbell partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to host a National Logistics Staging Area for distributing aid.
Sabre Army Heliport was utilized to accommodate the needs of FEMA. Tractor trailers were coming and going at all hours of the day and night in order to relay generators and other emergency goods out to declared emergency areas.
"The Installation has gone to extreme lengths to provide FEMA with support so that materials and resources can be pushed forward to assist the residents of Kentucky in a timely manner," said Danny Greene, DPTMS emergency plans specialist.
"There was a pretty impressive amount of commodities that passed through," said Tom Kempton, public affairs officer for FEMA. "The generator mission is still going on, at present we are working to recover the generators and get them serviced and back to distribution centers for the next event."
FEMA reported delivery totals of 2 million bottles of water and 1.3 million meals from the Fort Campbell Staging Area. FEMA also provided 144 generators throughout Kentucky.
According to a press release from FEMA, "Federal emergency aid has been made available for the Commonwealth of Kentucky to help supplement state and local response efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm during the period January 27, 2009, and continuing."
"We have received a modification to the original order that extends the NLSA through February 28," Greene said.
President Obama issued the emergency declaration for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, authorizing assistance from FEMA. The assistance program at 75 percent Federal funding, with a limit of $5 million, was not authorized for Christian County.
The FEMA team's initial work assessed the areas to decide which areas are main priorities and what resources are needed. FEMA arrived Jan. 29 for assessment and set up.
"As the mission shifts the crews will be going out into communities statewide to assess the needs for standby electrical generation at critical facilities such as shelters, fire and police communication systems, hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities that citizens rely on at time of emergency," Kempton said.
While some areas still need aid, FEMA is also starting to collect the resources and bring them back to the Staging Area. "Other personnel will be retrieving generators and bringing them back into Fort Campbell for refitting and shipment back to national distribution locations for the next time they are needed," Kempton said.
Different Fort Campbell agencies have come together to make this possible. The DPTMS, Directorate of Emergency Services, Department of Public Works, Directorate of Logistics and Garrison Resource Management are all contributing to the effort.
"FEMA was assisted in the mission at Fort Campbell by the garrison commander, the heliport manager and the Fort Campbell emergency manager. Having a facility with the perfect mix of storage areas, secure facilities and a central location adjacent to travel routes was vital in the FEMA mission of supporting the people of Kentucky," Greene said.
According to Greene, Fort Campbell provided light sets, latrine facilities, material handling equipment, neon traffic signs and space to set up the National Logistics staging area. "Additionally the installation has provided assistance in monitoring environmental issues within the NLSA," Greene said.
Many other federal agencies are aiding the effort, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Kentucky Hospital Association.