Emergency Management

Local emergency contact numbers for Hurricane Katrina victims
Posted By Sheri Badger on Sep 8th, 2005 at 3:31 AM

Tacoma, WA – September 08, 2005 – A number of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina are arriving in Pierce County in small groups to join family members already living here. They have a lot of needs and agencies are available to help. The following is a short list of important contact numbers to begin the process. People at these agencies can help direct victims to other services as well. All victims of Hurricane Katrina must register with FEMA to access disaster resources: 1-800-621-3362 1-800-462-7585 TTY (speech and hearing impaired) or on line at: www.fema.gov Mount Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross: 253-474-0400 Pierce County Community Services: 253-798-7206 Associated Ministries of Tacoma & Pierce County: 253-383-3056 United Way of Pierce County: 253-572-4357 Goodwill Industries/Tacoma: 253-272-5166 253-383-1923 (TDD) St. Vincent De Paul: 253-671-8941 Salvation Army: 253-572-8452 (Tacoma) 253-841-1491 (Puyallup) Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County: 253-383-2733 State Disaster Assistance Help Line: 1-800-688-3469 For questions about donated goods: 1-800-941-2930 For tax-related disaster questions: 1-866-562-5227 For further information, contact Barbara Nelson, Pierce County Emergency Management, 253-798-2168. ###

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Operation Evergreen update; evacuees not expected at Fort Lewis
Posted By Sheri Badger on Sep 7th, 2005 at 12:40 PM

Tacoma, WA – September 07, 2005 – The Pierce County Emergency Operations Center just received a press release from Governor Gregoire’s Office announcing that mass evacuations are no longer expected from the Gulf Coast. The press release follows below. The EOC is planning to adjust it’s operation based on this new information. It is realistic that some displaced residents may still arrive in Washington State so volunteers and donations are still happily accepted. The Mount Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross will accept financial contributions at 253-474-0400 or their web site at www.rainier-redcross.org. You can inquire about donating goods at 1-800-941-2930. We encourage everyone to contact their volunteer organization of choice to determine if assistance is needed. ____________________________________ News release Office of Governor Christine Gregoire FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Sept. 7, 2005 Contact: Rob Harper, Washington Emergency Management Division, 800-688- 8955 CAMP MURRAY, WASHINGTON * In an early morning conference call with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and other governors, Gov. Christine Gregoire learned that substantially fewer Hurricane Katrina evacuees are likely to be headed to Washington. ” Secretary Chertoff said there are now no mass evacuations to other states imminent, ” Gov. Gregoire said. ” Operation Evergreen has prepared us for that possibility but based on the conversation this morning we are expecting substantially fewer people from the Gulf region to arrive in Washington state. “We are on standby and will be updated daily be FEMA,” Gov. Gregoire said. Gov. Gregoire and Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg, Director, Washington Military Department, have called Lt. Gen. James Dubik, Commander at Ft. Lewis, to express their appreciation for his cooperation and that of troops at Fort Lewis in assisting with the planning effort. But because of the fewer than originally expected evacuees, Fort Lewis will most likely not be used, Gregoire informed the General. Similar coordination and expressions of appreciation were made to command officials at McChord Air Force Base in Washington. Gov. Gregoire noted some Hurricane Katrina evacuees are unofficially coming to Washington, and emphasized that FEMA has resources, including debit cards, to provide immediate help. To receive the assistance, those people need to register with FEMA by calling 1- 800-621-FEMA (3362) or by logging on to www.fema.gov. Gov. Gregoire expressed her appreciation for the state, local and national government organizations along with local community service groups who have come together to gear up Operation Evergreen and said Washington is better ready to meet the needs of any people displaced by Hurricane Katrina that may come to our state. Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana participated in the early morning conference call today. ” Gov. Blanco thanked the nation for their overwhelming response and said she and all the citizens of the Gulf Coast are touched by the generosity of the citizens of our great nation, ” Gov. Gregoire said. The primary need remains for money to support Gulf region victims and people who would like to help are asked to donate to Washington Cares, a fund established by Gov. Gregoire in partnership with Washington Mutual. Donations can be made at any Washington Mutual Bank in Washington. Washington Mutual will match all donations, up to $100,000. Washington Mutual will donate all monies received directly to the American Red Cross. Cash donations are the most needed. As part of the effort to assist guests who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina, state officials have also established a hotline. Citizens who wish to donate non-cash items can call Operation Evergreen at 1- 800-941-2930. Operation Evergreen is an effort of state, local and federal officials along with community organizations to host people in Washington who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. “We will be communicating with FEMA daily regarding offers of donated items and other support to determine how they can best be used to help victims of this tragic devastation, ” said Gov. Gregoire.

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Operation Evergreen Fact Sheet
Posted By Sheri Badger on Sep 6th, 2005 at 5:45 AM

Tacoma, WA – September 06, 2005 – PIERCE COUNTY MAKING PLANS TO WELCOME HURRICANE VICTIMS Pierce County is participating in Operation Evergreen, Washington State’s offer to help relocate displaced persons from Hurricane Katrina. The Pierce County Emergency Operation Center opened this morning at 9 a.m. with a unified command involving the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, the Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Sheriff’s Department, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, the City of Tacoma, and local medical providers. Upwards of 2,000 displaced persons could begin arriving as early as Thursday, September 8. They may arrive at McChord Air Force Base and initially be housed at Fort Lewis before transitioning into housing in our community. Many agencies and organizations in Pierce County are planning on how to provide the basic needs for our guests as they make that transition Sheltering: The Red Cross is coordinating efforts to find a list of available housing throughout Pierce County for motels, hotels, apartments, assisted living facilities, and perhaps in private homes. The initial time period is for two to four weeks, but it is anticipated it will be for much longer. Some people may arrive with pets and we are looking for sheltering facilities willing to take them. Medical Services: The Health Department and local hospitals are preparing to provide necessary health services, including assessments, hospitalization, and medications if needed. We are also looking into the possibility of pets needing medical assistance. Social Services: Local agencies are planning to provide emotional and physical support. They will coordinate to help establish identification, interpretive services, and provide mental health and faith-based counseling support. We plan to establish Care Teams to help guide individuals and families through this process. Schools, libraries and other services can be drawn into to help them return to a more normal existence. Security: The Sheriffs Department is working with other law enforcement agencies to help establish identification of people who lost everything when they left the Gulf region. We are asking the community to please welcome these people. We know the generosity is great. Here’s how you can help: Donations: Financial donations are greatly appreciated and needed. The Mount Rainier Chapter of the Red Cross, which serves our community, can take monetary contributions. You can call them at 253-474-0400 or go on their web site at www.rainier-redcross.org. Material Donations: At this time, we are asking citizens NOT to donate clothing or other items. We do not have the facilities or volunteers available to process them. If we find there are specific needs, we will let people know. Volunteers: The Pierce County Citizen Corps Council, responsible for coordinating emergency volunteers, is meeting to coordinate the many volunteer needs for this response. We will release the specifics as soon as they are available. There may be opportunities for medical volunteers — specific guidelines for coordinating volunteers with medical credentials will be followed so they can work in their areas of expertise. More information is forthcoming. Contacts: Pierce County Emergency Operations Center: 253-798-7470. Department of Emergency Management: 253-798-6595 Media questions should be directed through the EOC. Off-hour media inquiries can be directed to Jody Woodcock at 253-377-0475.

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Local agency seeks volunteers to assist survivors of Hurricane Katrina
Posted By Sheri Badger on Sep 6th, 2005 at 5:44 AM

Tacoma, WA – September 06, 2005 – Associated Ministries will coordinate hospitality teams to aid relocated families Working with the Citizen Corps Council, an arm of the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Associated Ministries is actively seeking volunteers from faith communities, service clubs and other community groups to offer direct assistance to families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The first of several orientation / training sessions for prospective volunteers will be held Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1223 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma. Training is mandatory prior to being matched with a displaced family. Volunteers will form “hospitality teams” of 2-5 people who will work with their assigned families over a period of weeks or months to help them get established in their new surroundings. The volunteers will receive training and orientation, and will be asked to pass background checks prior to being matched with a relocated family. While families’ basic needs may be the same, many will have unique needs that can best be met by personalized support. Hospitality teams will be offered to individuals and families as an option to help them deal with their unique circumstances. The need is urgent. As families begin to arrive in Pierce County from the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, the Citizen Corps Council is working to meet their essential needs for shelter, food, clothing and medical assistance. Along with Associated Ministries, participants include representatives of the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and more. For more information contact Associated Ministries at (253) 383-3056, ext. 119 or info@associatedministries.org. # # # Judith Jones Director of Communications and Education Associated Ministries “Building community that is humane, compassionate and just” www.associatedministries.org judyj@associatedministries.org 253-383-3056, x 120 fax: 253-383-2672

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Local rescue specialists sent to Gulf as Hurricane Katrina approaches
Posted By Sheri Badger on Sep 5th, 2005 at 12:00 PM

August 28, 2005 Two members of the Washington Urban Search & Rescue Task Force (WATF1) were deployed to the Gulf Coast this weekend to assist with what is expected to be a massive hurricane recovery effort. WATF1 Program Manager Tom Miner from Pierce County Emergency Management and Deputy Dan Hudson from the Pierce County Sheriffs Department are part of an incident support team that oversees all the Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) task force operations on site. Pierce County Emergency Management sponsors WATF1, one of 28 national teams, and at this time it has not been placed on alert. Katrina could be a catastrophic storm, said Pierce County Emergency Management Director Steve Bailey, Im proud to send two of our local experts to assist with the response. This is what our profession is all about  helping our neighbors. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the Gulf region. Each task force is able to provide a variety of services and resources such as: ” Physical search and rescue (including water rescue), ” Emergency medical care to trapped victims, ” Search and rescue canines, ” Assessment and control of gas, electric service and hazardous materials, and ” Evaluation and stabilization of damaged structures. WATF1 was established in 1991 and represents more than 38 jurisdictions. The team was one of the first 12 task forces deemed deployable by FEMA and currently maintains a 24-hour deployment readiness. The task force includes more than 200 representatives from Pierce County, City of Tacoma, City of Seattle, King County and other jurisdictions therein. The team was mobilized for the Shuttle Columbia recovery, 2003; the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks, 2001; 1996 Olympics in Atlanta; the federal courthouse bombing in Oklahoma City, 1995; the Northridge, California earthquake, 1994; and Typhoon Bryan in Guam, 1992.

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