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Mayor de Blasio Announces Additional Staff Deployments to Assist with Hurricane Recovery

September 27, 2017

Additional emergency management experts and FDNY personnel deployed to Puerto Rico, bringing total number of City workers on the ground to 147

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced additional staff deployments to assist with relief and recovery following Hurricane Maria. The New York City Emergency Management Department today deployed 10 additional emergency managers to Puerto Rico to support the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (PREMA) in organizing and coordinating response and recovery operations for the Commonwealth following Hurricane Maria. Additionally, 64 members of the FDNY’s Incident Management Team were deployed to Puerto Rico yesterday following a FEMA request.

“New York City is ready to do whatever it takes to assist in the aftermath of this devastating hurricane. We have several excellent teams of first responders on the ground totaling 147 City employees, and we’ll send more as needed to provide direct assistance and coordinate recovery operations,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We have a very smart and dedicated team of emergency managers in NYC who can use their expertise and disaster management skills to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “We hope we can help make a difference and positively impact those in need.”

The NYC Emergency Management team was specifically requested by FEMA and the Governor of Puerto Rico through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is the national emergency management mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance. During the deployment, the team will support the Commonwealth’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and work to assist in EOC management and to identify additional support needed by PREMA and other local officials. Wednesday morning, the team of 10 emergency managers departed JFK airport on a JetBlue flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The NYC Emergency Management team is the second to deploy to Puerto Rico. A team of 10 emergency managers was deployed on Saturday, September 23 to coordinate logistics and help manage recovery operations within the City of San Juan.

Since their deployment, the team has worked with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to set up a distribution center for food, water, and other needed commodities, to help organize efforts to conduct wellness checks, and to initiate additional forward-leaning logistics planning for needs in the community.

The Fire Department also has several teams on the ground helping with recovery. 64 members of the FDNY’s Incident Management Team were deployed to Puerto Rico yesterday following a FEMA request. IMTs are federally-trained teams of first responders with specialized training in managing logistics and planning for major, long duration emergencies. Other FDNY staff on the ground include 6 staffers from the Special Operations Command and 15 members of FDNY Hispanic Society.

As of September 27, 147 City workers are in Puerto Rico:

  • 30 FDNY and NYPD personnel who are members of the Urban Search and Rescue New York Task Force 1, which was deployed to Puerto Rico by FEMA
  • 64 members of FDNY’s Incident Management Team, who are assisting with logistics, planning, and personnel coordination and were deployed at FEMA’s request, as well as 6 members of FDNY’s Special Operations Command who are providing communications support to the Incident Management Team
  • 20 emergency management workers, including the 10 deployed today to assist the Commonwealth and 10 who are already working with the City of San Juan to manage recovery operations and coordinate logistics
  • 9 members of the NYPD Hispanic Society, who are in San Juan assisting with emergency operations, helping set up the distribution center and interfacing with the Puerto Rican Police Department
  • 15 members of the FDNY Hispanic Society who are assisting with the distribution center and providing translation services
  • 2 Department of Buildings staffers with expertise in building inspections
  • 1 member of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit assisting with the distribution center and interfacing with community groups.

The City is collecting monetary donations through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. These funds will be distributed to organizations working to support the 3.5 million Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean residents who have been impacted by this storm. City workers now have the option to make a donation directly from their paychecks to Hurricane Maria relief efforts. 

The City is also collecting donations of critically needed items at 18 firehouses and EMS stations across the five boroughs. Only donations of batteries, diapers, feminine hygiene products, first aid supplies and baby food will be accepted at these drop-off sites. Donations will be accepted during the hours of 7 AM through 9 PM.

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