News Release Manager

Memphis Corps of Engineers prepares to respond if hurricane strikes Louisiana

Published Aug. 27, 2012


MEMPHIS, Tenn., Aug. 27, 2012 – In anticipation of Hurricane Isaac making landfall along the north-central Gulf Coast near New Orleans, the Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has begun preparations to support hurricane response operations.

"We are sending two groups of employees to Louisiana today," Col. Vernie Reichling, the Corps’ Memphis District commander said. "Twelve people from our Emergency Power Planning and Response Team and six people from our Hurricane Response Advance Party will pre-position themselves in Baton Rouge and Alexandria, La."

In addition to emergency power, the Corps also has teams trained and ready to move into impacted areas with necessary support like ice, water, housing and roofing, and debris removal. These elements of the response plan are located at remote sites so they can most quickly react either to a strike on New Orleans or other parts of the Gulf Coast.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities: the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act (P.L. 84- 99, as amended) and the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288, as amended).

Under the Stafford Act, the Corps supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in carrying out the National Response Plan, which calls on 26 Federal departments and agencies to provide coordinated disaster relief and recovery operations.

The Memphis District has a primary role in support of the National Response Plan. The plan describes the basic structure by which the federal government will mobilize resources and conduct response and recovery activities to assist states and local governments in coping with the consequences of significant natural or man-made disasters, to include terrorist events.

Within this plan, the Department of Defense has designated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the primary agency for planning, preparedness and response under the Emergency Support Function #3, Public Works and Engineering. The type of assistance provided by the Corps includes restoration of critical public services and facilities, including supply of adequate amounts of potable water and ice, temporary restoration of water supply systems, provision of temporary emergency electrical power, temporary emergency housing, structural evaluation of buildings and damage assessment, and clearance, removal, and disposal of debris.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 12-15