FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2005
Contact: Press Offfice (518) 474-8418 or (212) 681-4640
New York Governor George E. Pataki Sends Disaster Specialists
to Help Florida Recovery
Governor George E. Pataki today announced that New York
State is sending nine disaster management specialists to
assist in the recovery efforts in Florida following the
devastation caused by Hurricane Dennis.
"We are proud to send this team of specialists to help
our friends in Florida recover from the wrath of Hurricane
Dennis less than a year after that state was devastated by
four successive hurricanes," Governor Pataki said. "Our
thoughts and prayers go out to Dennis' victims and I want
all Floridians to know that New York stands ready to assist
them during this very difficult time."
The deployment came about because New York State is a
member of the national Emergency Management Assistance
Compact (EMAC), which establishes a mutual partnership with
other states to provide aid and assistance in times of
emergency. Approved by Congress in 1996, 48 states, the
District of Columbia, and two territories have ratified
Governor Pataki signed legislation on September 17, 2001
- six days after the terrorist attack on the World Trade
Center in New York City - that enabled New York State to
immediately enter into the compact. Twenty-four states,
including Florida, sent 37 emergency management specialists
to assist in the response and recovery following the WTC
attack. Those experts were directly involved in helping the
Emergency Operations Center in New York City or the State's
Emergency Coordination Center at the State Emergency
Management Office (SEMO) in Albany.
Today, the Governor dispatched the specially trained
State and local employees who are specialists in managing
the various aspects of response and recovery including
command, operations, planning and logistics. The specialists
will serve a 14-day tour of duty. They will be staged at
Tallahassee before proceeding to their assignment in Santa
Rosa County. Agencies providing personnel include SEMO, the
Department of Environmental Conservation, the Office of Fire
Prevention and Control, the Department of Health and the
city of Oneonta.
Governor Pataki said that SEMO meanwhile continues to
monitor the projected path of the remnants of Dennis to
ensure that New York State is prepared to respond to any
storm-related damage that could be caused as the remains of
the tropical system move north in the days ahead.
SEMO Director James W. Tuffey said, "EMAC expedites
valuable resources - such as personnel and equipment - from
member states during times of emergency. New York State,
under Governor Pataki, has a long history of sending
assistance to our sister states and countries when they need
EMAC facilitates member states sending personnel and
equipment to help disaster relief efforts in other states,
augmenting the assistance already provided by the affected
state and the federal government.
This is not the first deployment of New York State
personnel under EMAC. The State provided 20 disaster
management and relief specialists to assist Florida last
year when it was struck by four hurricanes in late August
and September. New York dispatched the specialists while at
the same time continuing to coordinate the national effort
under the compact.
EMAC provides for clear, predictable and standardized
operating procedures for member states. Officers of the
state offering assistance are considered agents of the state
requesting assistance for purposes of tort liability and
Governor Pataki also asked New Yorkers to join in the
Hurricane Dennis recovery effort.
"New Yorkers are generous and compassionate people who
always stand ready to help," he said. "The best way to help
now is through cash donations.
"Based on the lessons learned from previous national
disasters, donations of materials, food, and clothing
actually created problems for hard-pressed response
agencies," the Governor said. "Those organizations were
forced to divert personnel and equipment from their response
duties to managing, sorting and distributing a mountain of
good will donations.
"For these reasons, and to provide the victims of
Hurricane Dennis with the assistance they desperately need,
I'm asking New Yorkers to show their concern through cash
donations," the Governor said.
Anyone who wants to assist those affected by Hurricane
Dennis may make a donation to the American Red Cross
Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800 HELP-NOW or visiting
online at www.redcross.org.