PEARL, Miss –The State of Mississippi is sending 98 emergency response specialists to assist the state of Florida as Hurricane Irma makes landfall. The Mississippi teams were all requested by the Florida Division of Emergency Management through the national Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). There are 61 search and rescue specialists leaving Mississippi Sunday morning to staging areas in Florida. The other teams will begin deploying Monday.
“We are honored to send some of Mississippi’s most experienced disaster response specialists to help our neighbors in Florida as they face this major hurricane,” said MEMA Director Lee Smithson. “Florida was the first state to roll into the Mississippi Gulf Coast right after Hurricane Katrina to help us with response and recovery. Governor Bryant is committed to assisting Florida with all the resources it needs and we can provide.”
A detailed breakdown of the teams:
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks:
- Sending 26 swiftwater search and rescue officers to assist Florida Department of Wildlife officers.
Mississippi Search and Rescue Task Force:
- Sending 35 specialists to comprise a Search and Rescue Task Force with water rescue capabilities to provide Advanced Urban Search and Rescue.
- Specialists come from fire departments and response agencies in Biloxi, Columbus, Desoto County, Diamondhead, Grenada, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Horn Lake, Madison, McComb, Miss. Office of Homeland Security, Olive Branch, Oxford, Philadelphia, Pike County, Southaven, Starkville and Tupelo.
Mississippi Department of Human Services:
- Sending a specialist to lead Mass Care Feeding, Sheltering, and Reunification Taskforce Groups.
Mississippi State Department of Health:
- Sending six specialists to support health operations at the Florida Emergency Operations Center.
Mississippi National Guard:
- Sending two CH-47D/F Aircraft and 20 personnel to provide aviation capabilities.
Harrison County Emergency Management:
- Sending a five member All Hazards Incident Management Team to support local emergency management coordination.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact is an agreement signed by all 50 states and the U.S. Territories and allows for state-to-state support during disasters. The expenses for this deployment will be covered by the state of Florida.
MEMA is prepared to coordinate additional support as it is requested.
For more information on the Emergency Management Assistance Compact please visit www.emacweb.org.
MEMA will update this mission on its website, www.msema.org, and through its social media outlets Facebook at @msemaorg and Twitter, @msema.