FEMA coordinating Harvey relief efforts in Denton

- So far six counties along the Texas coast have been declared disaster zones under the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA is coordinating efforts out of their regional response coordination center in Denton. Teams are working around the clock to send resources like food, water, generators and more to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Since Wednesday about 100 FEMA employees have been stationed at the Denton office 24/7 planning for what communities along the coast will need to recover from Harvey.

“This is where we figure out who needs what, where, when, how much they need, how quickly we can get it to them and how to get it to them,” said Earl Armstrong with FEMA.

The federal agency started sending resources down a few days ahead of the storm to be ready.

“We have several search and rescue, federal search and rescue teams we put down there. We have several thousands of liters of water already pre-positioned down there. Blankets, cots, you name it, we’ve got it pre-positioned down there waiting for the state to ask for those resources,” said Laverm Young, the deputy director at the Denton center.

FEMA also sent teams down south along with more than two dozen truckloads of supplies. And it’s prepared to send another wave as needed.

“We have folks forward deployed already down in Austin and we’re bringing more people here to Denton to send them out as soon as conditions are okay to send them,” Armstrong said.

Teams are also constantly sending updates back to Washington, watching local weather reports and social media.

FEMA officials said all the pre-planning put them in a good position.

“I think that allowed us to move very quickly, get those commodities in place and get the right assets in place. It all goes back to the state planning,” Young said.

But officials stress this is not nearly over just yet as what’s left of Harvey lingers.

“This is going to be a long fight for us,” Young said.

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