FEMA Response Update: Sally and Western Wildfires

FEMA continues to support states impacted by Hurricane Sally and wildfires…

WASHINGTON – FEMA continues to support states impacted by Hurricane Sally with personnel and commodities in and near the areas of impact. Commodities are available to each affected state based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance. Shuttle drivers and trailers are onsite where these commodities are staged, ready to move assets to fulfill state requests.

Over 4 million liters of bottled water

3.2 million meals

289,000 blankets

117,000 tarps

52,500 blue roof sheeting

6,500 cots

23 generators

FEMA has six Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) deployed in response to Hurricane Sally. Four teams are deployed to Louisiana, one to Alabama and one team is onsite in Florida. An additional IMAT is onsite at Mississippi’s Emergency Operations Center redeployed to Florida’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee yesterday. FEMA also deployed Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicles to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi to provide emergency communication capabilities for federal resources, if needed. Additionally, a FEMA liaison officer is in place at the Florida Emergency Operations Center. As of September 18th, 372 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of Hurricane Sally:

Three National Guard Bureau teams are staged in Alabama. In Mississippi, 60 people, 12 tactical vehicles, and six support Humvees are staged for high water rescue and recovery operations.

Three Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are available in Louisiana, and federal and state Ambulance Surge Units are on standby. Two Urban Search and Rescue teams are staged in Hammond, Louisiana pending further coordination in repositioning with Region 4. Urban Search and Rescue team Tennessee Task Force One is staged in Meridian, Mississippi.

Personnel from the federal government, including the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, DHS Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have been mission assigned to provide support to impacted states and tribes, as needed.

Department of Health and Human Services medical teams, incident management teams and logistics support are deployed to Jackson, Mississippi. Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers from the Department of Defense are deployed in support of Florida.

President Trump approved Emergency Declarations for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Sally across the Gulf Coast.

FEMA has nearly $7 billion available to pay flood claims and the authority to borrow another $10 billion for claims if necessary.

Even after the storm has passed, we still ask everyone to stay focused on safety and encourage to practice the following:

State and local officials will have the most up-to-date information on evacuation orders and shelter locations.

Alabama residents should call or text 2-1-1 for evacuation, sheltering and resources for immediate needs.

The American Red Cross (ARC) is prepared to shelter and support families. For assistance, call 3-1-1 or visit the ARC website.

Individuals in Alabama and Mississippi impacted by Sally may register for the American Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.

Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators or while removing debris. Never use generators indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.

If you have been evacuated do not return home until local officials tell you it is safe to do so.

Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water and other hidden hazards.

Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.

Wear sturdy shoes or boots when walking on, or near, debris. Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling debris.

When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.

Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Residents in Alabama and Florida should call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.

Response is a whole community effort; if it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.

Remember to stay safe, whether you’re a responder or survivor. Wear a mask in public settings especially when social distancing is not possible, and follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

FEMA will conduct remote home inspections to expedite the delivery of recovery assistance to applicants based on their eligibility due to COVID-19 and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans.


FEMA has the following commodities staged near the areas of impact for wildfires in the West. These commodities are available to each affected state based on need and requests to FEMA for assistance.

227,000 liters of bottled water

208,896 meals

54,735 blankets

6,092 cots

Hygiene kits, commonly used shelter items and 27 generators are also staged at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington.

FEMA has obligated more than $1.2 million in mission assignments and is processing 46 active resource requests in support of Oregon. Two Incident Management Assistance Teams are deployed to Oregon to support state operations, and one team is deployed to California to support state operations. FEMA has also deployed Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams along with other specialized teams from federal partners to provide support. Two Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) units are deployed to Oregon, providing communications support for command and control of federal resources in support of the IST and US&R Teams. As of September 18th, 478 FEMA responders have been deployed in support of western wildfires.

President Trump approved Major Disaster Declarations for California and Oregon to provide federal assistance and coordinate all disaster relief efforts in response to ongoing wildfires throughout the Western U.S. These declarations authorize FEMA to provide assistance, including direct federal assistance for emergency protective measures for:

Eight counties in Oregon are approved for Individual Assistance.

Twenty counties in Oregon are approved for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. Hazard mitigation is approved statewide.

Nine counties are approved for debris removal and 11 counties are approved for emergency protective measures.

Nine counties in California are approved for Individual Assistance.

Six counties in California are now eligible for permanent work assistance, including repairs done to roads, bridges, public buildings and utilities, water control facilities, and at parks or other recreational facilities

Eight counties in California are approved for debris removal.

Ten counties in California are approved for emergency protective measures.

Public safety is the No.1 priority: residents in at-risk areas should follow local officials’ instructions and be ready to take action.

An Oregon Wildfire Resource Website has been created to help Oregonians stay informed at wildfire.oregon.gov.

Know your evacuation levels! Level 1 – Be Ready. Level 2 – Be Set. Level 3 – Leave Immediately. DO NOT return to the fire area until officials give the OK.

If you are in an evacuation zone, heed warnings and follow local official recommendations without delay.

Local evacuation information can be found on the OEM Wildfire dashboard. Information is ever-changing, so continue to check back for updated content.

Check with your county office of emergency management to sign up for local emergency alerts.

If you are in a safe place, you can help by staying home and off the road.

The American Red Cross is operating several Temporary Evacuation Points where evacuees can go for information and assistance. Locations change with the need. Community members who need assistance can contact 2-1-1.

If you are affected by the Oregon wildfires, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss homeowner insurance policies and wildfire coverage. The Oregon Insurance Commission has insurance resources available online.

Register for the Red Cross Safe and Well program at safeandwell.communityos.org.

Oregonians and others asking how to help, you can donate to response organizations. Visit ORVOAD.org.

Amid wildfire, smoke and erratic weather, the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant. Face coverings are required in all parts of the state and Oregonians are reminded to maintain social distancing and wash hands frequently.

For additional preparedness information on all types of disasters, visit Ready.gov and download the FEMA app.