GovGuam working with feds on storm response - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GovGuam working with feds on storm response

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GovGuam has partnered with FEMA and the Department of Defense to ensure that the island is ready for Typhoon Dolphin and ready to respond in the aftermath. As the island continues to watch the storm, Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense and FEMA Region IX's Incident Management Team have been collaborating for about a week now.

And according to IMAT team leader Kevin Cavanaugh, their team efforts have been fruitful. "It's been very fruitful and valuable partnership that we have with the Government of Guam - it's been a very strongly collaborative effort in preparing for the coming typhoon. I have enjoyed working with them greatly and now we are just hoping as I said in the previous interview that we won't have a lot of response activities afterwards to deal with."

The FEMA team has been familiarizing themselves with the island, with Cavanaugh saying they've been, "Identifying potential places for disaster recovery shelters and centers that may be set up in anticipation of the storm. We have also had people from the Army Corps of Engineers, working with our team to assess the power requirements of some of the critical facilities in case they should lose power and we need to bring in emergency power to support them."

Cavanaugh says he is impressed with how hardened most of the facilities are in Guam, adding that the island seems well prepared for the storm. According to Guam Homeland Security administrator Ambrosio Constantino, as part of the collaboration the federal coordinating officer along with the territorial officer visited various locations with Governor Eddie Calvo today, he says that in preparation for the storm they have also developed goals and objectives as a team. "What are our priorities at this stage, and then later on today we are going to figure out what is our priorities for post-landfall," he said.

"We are actually looking at what's going on during the recovery stage so that is already ongoing. Governor Calvo is very proactive in this whole operation."

According to Constantino, FEMA's presence on island in prior to the storm is not a first and based on the projected threshold it was deemed appropriate to send the team out in advance. "So in this particular case when we started talking last week we said there's a possibility that this storm might turn into a Category 3 or Category 2, in which case it was a very good estimate," he summarized.

But this partnership is not just between FEMA and GovGuam, but also with the DoD counterparts and brings all governmental agencies together to look at the island as a whole.

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