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FEMA team supporting Guam prior to typhoon

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The presence of Region IX's Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) could be felt at the Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense, as they have made themselves at home setting up shop in preparation for Typhoon Dolphin. While the team's primary function is disaster response, they have been sent here to Guam in advance of the storm.

IMAT team leader Kevin Cavanaugh told KUAM News, "At this point it is primarily advisory and preparedness and planning. We are not providing any direct assistance with them, we are just here for support to the Government of Guam." He added, "We are integrating with the Government of Guam - we will be here and ready when the Emergency Operations Center here stands up establishing communications with the Government of Guam and we are also familiarizing  our team with the island and what needs might possibly arise."

The team consists of about 15 members each of them a disaster response specialists specializing in operations, logistics, planning and other management functions. "We have representatives that are experts in infrastructure mass care individual assistance as well as external affairs planning and then our administrative support," continued Cavanaugh. He says while it is too early to anticipate what damage will be caused by Typhoon Dolphin, it is a possibility and they want to be here and be prepared just in case.

"It is it's a lesson we have learned over recent disasters here in Guam and around the world - Katrina, Sandy - getting out ahead of these storms having teams in place we are able to respond, if necessary," he shared. He says members of his team were sent out yesterday to shelter locations so that they could familiarize themselves in case assistance is needed in getting residents to shelters.

How long FEMA Region IX's IMAT will be on island is dependent on the impacts Dolphin has on the island as it is anticipated to pass as a typhoon. 

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