By U.S. ArmySeptember 11, 2018
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers- Honolulu District activated its Emergency Operation Center Sept. 6, 2018, in support of the response to Typhoon Mangkhut that ravaged the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Hurricane/Tropical Storm Olivia that is heading for landfall in the eastern Hawaiian Islands.
USACE is working in partnership with the local, state, and federal response in preparation for Hurricane/Tropical Storm Olivia. USACE has more than 100 personnel engaged and coordinating with local, state and Federal Emergency Management Agency partners on the Hawaiian Islands and CNMI.
USACE number one priority is the life, health, and safety of all who will be impacted by the storms. USACE uses pre-awarded contracts that can be quickly activated for missions such as debris removal, temporary roofing, and temporary emergency power.
Honolulu District identified and requested key assets from USACE headquarters to forward deploy to Hawaii and Guam for potential response for both weather events.
Currently, USACE has deployed 24 personnel to the Pacific including a Team Leader, Assistant Team Leader, a debris removal subject matter expert, an electrical power SME, a company from the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) and a Power Planning and Response Team. Under the Regional Activation Mission assignment, the personnel are providing Emergency Support Function 3 (Engineering & Public Works Support) technical assistance in response to preparations and planning.
Under the Temporary Emergency Power Mission Assignment, a SME is assisting with mission planning, and the PRT and 249th company are pre-positioned to ensure support in generator assessments and installation needs identified by the state.
A Power PRT from USACE's Walla Walla District, a debris removal SME, and an ESF 3 Regional Activation Team, deployed to Guam preparing and conducting missions assigned by FEMA.
The Honolulu District EOC, led by Emergency Manager Jeff Daniels and Emergency Management Specialist Vickie Cleaver, initiated preparations Sept. 6 for Hurricane Olivia and welcomed additional USACE personnel to assist with storm response in the Hawaiian Islands and CNMI.
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:
o Support immediate life-saving and life-safety emergency response priorities;
o Sustain lives with critical temporary emergency power and other needs;
o Initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.