Louisiana response teams assisting in Sandy's aftermath

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - According to the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, officials have deployed a pair of two-person response teams to the state of Pennsylvania to assist with its response efforts for Hurricane Sandy.

Another team is scheduled to deploy to Maryland later this week.

Under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the states of Pennsylvania and Maryland both requested Type IV two-person EMAC A-teams to assist with their states' response operations. GOHSEP employees will be in Pennsylvania until Nov. 4 and in Maryland until Nov. 12.

GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Pennsylvania and Maryland and those all across the East Coast who are bracing for Hurricane Sandy. We know all too well in Louisiana how devastating hurricanes can be and we are happy to have a chance to assist our emergency response partners in other states, just as they have assisted our state in the past."

According to state officials, in 2005, Pennsylvania deployed more than 119 personnel from the National Guard to Louisiana to assist in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2008, the state sent 62 National Guard members and an ambulance strike team to support Louisiana following Hurricane Gustav.

Officials said in 2005, Maryland provided Louisiana with more than 116 National Guard members in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. In 2008, the state provided 118 National Guard members and several ambulance strike teams to support Louisiana following Hurricane Gustav.

Officials said the EMAC is a formal agreement between states to provide assistance during a disaster. It was established in 1996 to allow states that are not in a declared disaster area to aid states in need. In recent years, GOHSEP's highly trained EMAC team has been called upon to assist in past emergencies such as Hurricane Irene in Maryland and Vermont, flooding in Tennessee and North Dakota, the 2011 tornado in Alabama, winter weather in Maryland and an ice storm in Kentucky.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs until Nov. 30. For information and tips about how to stay safe from hurricanes and other hazards, visit www.getagameplan.org.

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