FEMA calls on MCLB for Ike preps - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

FEMA calls on MCLB for Ike preps

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

September 8, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - More than one hundred truckloads of relief supplies are standing by at the Albany Marine Base, ready to be moved where Hurricane Ike makes landfall.

This is the first time FEMA has used MCLB Albany to pre-stage for a disaster response.

Acres of tractor trailer rigs at the Albany Marine Base, parked in line, ready to roll for relief when and where Hurricane Ike makes landfall. FEMA alerted Base officials Friday afternoon, and the trucks started rolling in Friday evening from Fort Gillem outside Atlanta.

 "We had to mobilize pretty quickly, but in terms of what it took for us, we were able to do that," said MCLB Albany Commanding Officer Colonel Christian Haliday.

Wherever Hurricane Ike makes landfall, FEMA wants to be ready to provide food and water for one million people a day for three days. So they moved water and military meals ready to eat here. 

"Roughly about 950,000 MRE's on hand, and 750,000 liters of water is currently what we have on hand now," said FEMA Logistics Team Leader LoMax Gaskins.

Friday FEMA officials were not sure where Ike might head, so Albany was picked as one of three staging sights.

 "We didn't know if it was going to the East Coast or the Gulf. This is sort of in the middle, and we can basically support both coastlines and still support Florida, from this strategic location," Gaskins said.

The Army Corp of Engineers also has six trucks loaded with 50 heavy duty generators in Albany, and satellite communication equipment.

"Once a hurricane makes landfall, we'll go in and make an assessment of critical facilities that need generators, install generators, and then maintain them," said Joel Hendrix of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

About a dozen FEMA and Army Corps of Engineer officials are watching Hurricane Ike closely from mobile offices set up at the Albany base, anticipating this afternoon to start moving west toward the Gulf.

"Region says move it forward, move it closer to Maxwell or Meridian, or something like that. That's what we'll do," Gaskins said.

More than one hundred truck loads of water, food, and generators ready to help where and when Hurricane Ike makes landfall.

The Albany Marine Base is already a safe haven location where other military bases send Marines to escape storm threats.

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