FEMA headquarters began 24-hour Emergency Support Team operations Wednesday with the partial activation of staff to cover transportation, public works and engineering, firefighting, information and planning, mass care, resource support, health and medical services, urban search and rescue, food, and energy.
A FEMA Hurricane Liaison Team has deployed to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and Rapid Needs Assessment teams were prepared to leave immediately following the storm's impact on Puerto Rico and the USVI.
FEMA's Regional Operations Center in New York City launched 24-hour operations on Tuesday, maintaining contact with the threatened island governments. Advance elements of emergency response teams also have deployed to Puerto Rico and USVI.
Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station has been identified as the possible mobilization center for storage and distribution of incoming emergency commodities.
Available emergency materials and supplies already on the islands for immediate delivery include more than 6,000 rolls of roofing-quality plastic sheeting, 112 various sizes of generators and 90,000 gallons of water, with another 125,000 gallons being readied for shipment from the U.S. mainland.
Additionally, enough food is stored in USVI schools and warehouse to provide at least five days of feedings for potential storm victims.
Six Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and three Medical Support Teams were put on alert and two advance medical assessment units were deployed to the island last night.
Two American Red Cross response teams have been sent to the threatened area and all USVI and Puerto Rico chapters are activated to help meet anticipated mass care needs.
Updated: November 17, 1999