RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that resources from the Commonwealth of Virginia will be dispatched to Louisiana in response to the threat of Hurricane Gustav, a major storm aiming for the Gulf Coast.
A Task Force team of 30 law enforcement officers with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will leave today, Aug. 31, to arrive at a staging area in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries by Monday morning. The team is trained to work in law enforcement as well as search, rescue and evacuation operations in high water areas. Members are equipped with chainsaws, axes, extra fuel, parts and equipment designed for self-sufficiency in the bayou areas of south Louisiana. It is expected that the team will work for about a week before returning to Virginia.
“We have been working for several days with other states to be ready to respond as soon as requests come in from affected areas,” Gov. Kaine said. “We will share our resources and help in any way we can.”
Gov. Kaine activated the Emergency Management Assistance Compact Friday, Aug. 29, to help states on the Gulf Coast prepare for and respond to the potential impacts of Hurricane Gustav. EMAC is a national interstate mutual aid agreement that enables states to share resources during times of disaster.
As a result of EMAC activation, many Virginia state agencies, localities and organizations identified and readied resources that can be deployed and are standing by to respond to additional requests as they are received.
Governor Kaine asks any volunteers or first responders to refrain from self-deploying to the area. Those who wish to help should contact a volunteer organization with a response mission, such as those listed on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website.