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Southern United States/Hurricane Katrina

This aerial view of New Orleans , taken on September 10, 2005, is indicative of the extent and duration of flooding throughout the city.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the United States Gulf Coast the morning of August 29, 2005 as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds up to 145 mph, 20-foot storm surges, and torrential rains that inundated most of the Mississippi Delta. Much of New Orleans flooded with up to 20 feet of water that poured through failed flood control structures. President George W. Bush declared disasters for areas impacted by the hurricane in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

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Over 130 counties and more than a dozen international organizations offered an outpouring of donations to assist affected communities with relief and recovery efforts. On September 3, 2005 , the Department of State requested support from USAID in processing formal offers of assistance accepted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In response, USAID established an operations center in Washington, D.C. and assigned agency liaisons to the Department of State Task Force for Hurricane Katrina, FEMA, and the Department of Defense. In addition, USAID deployed field personnel to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Colorado to conduct assessments, liaise with the Department of Defense, and provide logistical assistance to facilitate the receipt and delivery of foreign relief commodities.

In total, USAID facilitated the receipt of 44 flights containing 2,630 tons of internationally donated goods such as non-perishable food, generators, shelter materials, telecommunications equipment, medical and school supplies. All donations were processed through a reception center at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock , Arkansas and then shipped via 143 truckloads to sites in Mississippi , Louisiana , Alabama and Texas .


DASP detailer Laura Chapman (right) joins OFDA Logistician Bob Demeranville on an over flight of affected areas.
DASP provided considerable support to USAID’s effort. Stephanie Savolaine , the Assistant Director for International Programs overseeing DASP , served as the Deputy Manager for Response in the Operations Center . Sherry Hazelhurst , DASP Disaster Management Specialist, served as USAID Liaison to the Department of State Task Force for Hurricane Katrina, and Chris Leonardo, DASP Mission Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, served as USAID Liaison to FEMA. Ron Libby, DASP Disaster Response Specialist and DASP detailer Laura Chapman (Forest Service, Region 5) served as Field/Logistics Officers in Denton , Texas and Baton Rouge , Louisiana , respectively. BLM detailer, Tom Frey, served as the Liaison Officer to NORTHCOM based in Colorado Springs . Further, in cooperation with the State Department Task Force, FEMA, and the USAID Operations Center, Forest Service personnel developed a comprehensive database to track and report on the 580 foreign offers of assistance, including cash, commodities, and personnel.

 


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