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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 30, 2009 5:00am-5:30am EDT

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ho[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> the national guard let us know where we had a shortfall, fema spoke about the capabilities that they were requesting, and we looked over the exercise. the biggest shortfall is probably in the brigade structure. even though this is a shortfall in certain regions, this is not across the nation. this is a matter of reallocating forces. the national guard is working with us to determine the forces with shortfalls. another area is the number of aircraft that may deployed.
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there were plenty of assets, identifying those well in advance, and we have looked at the active components, with the coast guard to see where the assets would be available as they are called into the emergency. the last area of concern and we look at this closely last week, the health and human services and the veterans administration is the evacuation. we have improved greatly over the ability to identify people who may be moved and how to receive them on the other hand, and the problem that we will face, is the release time of those patients. if you wait until the last moment, we can only moved so
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many people and we were trying to have the officers working closely, having the coordinated officers to talk to them, so if you make the decision in 48 hours here are the people you can move. >> i will ask my staff to design a chart along the gulf coast, to indicate how many nursing home patients live within 30 miles of the coast. i will provide these numbers. in hurricane katrina we had the unfortunate incident where dozens of people drowned in nursing homes, and this was traumatic for the families. as well as for the victims. people do not realize, how many people live near the coast.
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and not everyone living near the coast has an automobile, not everyone is well, not everyone is strong enough to move out, they have to have held, where they are not wealthy enough to afford the $7,000 that it may cost to leave your home for several days, even if you manage to find shelter, there is some expense. i do not think people have an idea of this, that have not recently gone through what some of the states have gone through. that is going to be an interesting focus, and i think that you have identified this situation as something the national guard -- this can be very helpful because the governors may have one
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helicopter moving them around, but this is not moving all of the citizens. it would be helpful to have these federal assets to be able to do this evacuation. do you have a comment? >> this is not a question of the lack of capacity in terms of the overall numbers, but the resources may not be in the right place. i hear that recruiting is pretty good? >> we are at great strength right now. >> how important is the national guard to hurricane assistance? what role do they play? >> i cannot speak for the national guard, i am working at northern command. i will talk about my experiences from the past. they are the first responders in
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support of the fire department and the emergency responders, they will be there first. we have to understand their capabilities and look at their response times because if they are successful at the local level we have to use less assets. >> you do not see any need to increase anything? this is just reorganizing what we have? >> the congress has been very gracious with the department of defense in the ability to look at the essentials that we use in the homeland, the capabilities where we respond to disasters. we are recovering very well with these essential. >> can you comment from your perspective on the role of the national guard, the you find this to be essential and how do you want to position your
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organization with them, and if you can do this in one minute, and also talk about the idea that is moving around here, about a civilian reserve, that may supplement fema and the national guard in terms of trained personnel that could be called up in the event of a catastrophic disaster, which we cannot maintain every day, but it would be nice to have something like that. maybe that is what the red cross will do, or maybe that is the national guard. comment on the national guard and the ready reserve idea. >> the national guard is a key component in responding to disasters.
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upon my confirmation -- one of my first visitations was with general mckinley. we have a strong system and we leverage this with the national guard. we have capability and will identify another state, to make certain that things like the joint operation center supports each other and this is a good team, a key component of the national defense strategy, these are the first of the assets available and they can request from the other governors additional guardians to manage the disaster. there is actually a requirement, to take the existing structures and provide
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more training and capability within the reserve force. as far as the standing reserve, this is something i would like to research by elements of that is what we already see. we're building community response teams, building capabilities that are more adequately leveraged, through this -- people stand ready to help in their communities. >> i have one more question, and then we are going to move to the next panel. when you did your assessment of the task force, one issue that came up, was the significance of
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the coast, all of the coasts have assets that must be maintained not just for the benefit of the community but the economy of the nation -- and you may say the economy of the world is dependent on the continuing operations. if you start from houston and work your way to new york, these can be affected and we saw that during hurricane katrina, one of the largest parts -- ports was shut down. and the oil and gasoline operations were very close. if hurricane rita hit houston, it was very interesting as someone may want to talk about
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what could have happened to the price of oil and gas if both of these places and almost all of the offshore operations, they would have been shut down. this did not happen that this would be an interesting project. what is your responsibility to keeping ports open and how did you discuss this? can you talk about this? >> i will give you an example, of what we did last year. we were working closely with the coast guard, and there was a request for an amphibious ship and galveston was devastated by ike. the u.s.s. nassau was
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deployed. we have ships and you unload vessels that can respond and the navy was on board and they worked with the locals to open this up at the request of fema. >> do you have any of these ships on the gulf coast? >> on the east coast they would respond. >> and they are unable to get there in time? >> if we see the request we will move them and as we move them, we are looking at the path of the storm, to get them outside the path. >> one last question, about community disasters and other things, trailers and alternative housing.
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but because the season is well and to the storms will come, this is a nightmare and this is causing unmitigated suffering, on the part of the local officials with the first thing they have to do is remove debris. we had several headaches about the rules and regulations, if this was 5 inches, you were given 100%, if this was four inches, you got 80%. two inches was 20%. what has changed about this and what can you tell the local officials, that this is one of the headaches, trying to clear the streets and the roads, so
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people can get back. this has to be done, and it seems that we keep making mistakes, so what can you do as the director, to put a system in place that is clear and easy to use, and cost-effective? we do not ask the federal government to pay for this completely but we ask for a clear rule and regulation so the local officials can begin the recovery. without the removal there is no recovery. >> these are two of the things that we have to make certain that we know the outcome so we can get their quickly. we get this up so we deal with the problems of recovery.
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they provided a better financial incentive to the governments and the states so they had many of these questions, but this is also incumbent, to make certain that we have clear directions without being a process that is so difficult, the only way to understand this is to hire a former official to explain the rules where i have to look for reimbursement from the federal government. >> thank you very much. the panel has been wonderful. if the second panel would come forward?
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>> if you would take your seats? thank you very much for joining us. i would like to introduce all of you and you are asked to proceed with your opening remarks. the first witness today, will be george -- the the co-chair of
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the advisory board for the corporate response officers association and is the former undersecretary for preparedness and emergency response at the department of homeland security. this is a new organization chartered to train and engage crisis response officers in a new corporate position for the public sector. we are looking to the private sector, for partners and we want to look to the private sector for partners but i want to look to them for better technology and efficiency is that we can incorporate into the government response. thank you very much for your response. next we will hear from the vice
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president of disaster operations at the red cross. he is responsible for coordinating the response to major domestic disasters, managing the logistics' technology and human resource systems. i am very interested, i know the red cross has been reorganized and i am looking forward to hearing about this today. finally, the president of northeast louisiana united way. she has served as a coordinating council person, this is a nationwide of emergency response system that i think can be very helpful in all of the issues that we have talked about this morning. if you will be again, thank you.
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>> can you pull the microphone a little bit closer? >> normally my voice works wonders. thank you for the opportunity to be with you this afternoon, to talk about the work of the partnership. we have provided written testimony and asked that this be included in the record. this is an initiative from the corporate response operation, to implement the best practices for disaster response and recovery efforts. this is developed by a group of private sector leaders to understand that better preparedness does not just depend on the actions of the federal government. this is a community-based approach, to galvanize the resources of the public and private sectors to address a large scale crisis.
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these sectors depend on each other as they collaborate on how to improve their economic competitiveness and infrastructure. they say the dependency should be stronger during the crisis. following hurricane katrina and other disasters, the belief is that crisis response and recovery during the first 72 hours this limited to the for- profit companies and the not- for-profit organizations that deliver essential services, and as a result, the private sector is seen as part of the victim population rather than resources to alleviate suffering and speed up recovery. they seek to give the business leaders as well as the managers that low-cost tool to increase
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integration for the crisis management efforts, while saying what must be accomplished in these initiatives. specific to the challenges that we are facing, the newest administrator has just provided a compelling of day on the readiness of the upcoming season. i will say that as someone who has been associated with this, he and his management team are the most experienced group to ever be in charge of this agency. this gives me optimism and it should give optimism to the americans that the government is attempting to support the states in dealing with disasters of all kinds.
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the federal government is but one part of the of equation. federal prepared this does not mean national readiness. the private-sector and american citizens are also important, this is not just in government actions. we have to make certain the entire community is ready. the recent work before the flu outbreak suggests that the preparedness efforts are not coordinated with the officials in these communities. even with the planning over the last four years, there has been a surprise about the businesses that have done nothing, they are going to try to do everything when a crisis is at the door.
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we have seen innovative prepared this efforts between the local and state governments, in states such as florida. but these are not replicated across all of the states vulnerable. we have to conclude that community prepared this and private and public collaboration, and mutual dependence is lacking. this will create realistic -- business and government are making the case that crisis preparedness is essential to the economic and physical survival. there is very little margin for error in terms of the efficiency with how we respond to and recover from a disaster. they have seen the value of businesses designate an officer
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to work with the government to recover from a crisis. this and the collaboration enhance the resiliency because if something bad happens, the officials are talking at the right time about the right issues. i look forward to your questions. >> it is an honor to testify before you on behalf of the red cross. we will share with you the details, about how to respond to the challenges facing the american people. i would like to thank him for his work and the appreciation of the red cross in the response
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efforts. for more than 125 years the red cross has provided relief to the victims of disasters, helping people prepare for and respond to emergencies. from house fires to large-scale disasters, the red cross provides life-saving and sustaining support, giving critical surprise and emotional support, to communities across the country. i recognize the generous donations from the public of time and money and blood. our organization operates in a constant cycle of responding to disasters and preparing for the future. we participate in activities to partner and plan and prepare and
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evaluate the capabilities. spring is a critical time of year. we are responding to tornadoes and floods, as we prepare for the potential demands of the upcoming hurricane season. the resources have been positioned in 23 warehouses across the country for easy access. we have verified the readiness of the nationwide disaster fleet. the national shelter system is ready, and it contains locations and capacity information for 55,000 buildings that may be used as shelters. the national system is used for planning and operational decisions, to record the openings and closings and the overnight populations. we have made this system
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available in 12 states free of charge and this is used by 12 other non-government partners. this is also a critical function with advanced planning as we focus on the use of local volunteers and we also have people trained and available to leave their communities to go to the disasters. the number is now 90,000, compared to the 23,000 that we had during hurricane katrina. we are in the process of a evaluating the availability for disasters in the next several months. hurricane katrina had several after action reports, red cross has been focusing more resources on coordination. we currently have brought
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representatives in 10 of the offices and we have staff working at the national headquarters. we also have a staff member working with the housing task force. we have been working with state governments, in improving planning. the red cross and the state of louisiana are working to a unified plan, with the state department of social services and the governor's office of homeland security about mutual legit -- logistics', and we recently participated in the state of florida, and the major disaster exercise. with a category 4 hurricane affecting savannah georgia. -- savannah, georgia.
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we're also looking at a store making landfall near new york city. identifying the existing partnerships continues to be a strong priority of my organization. we partner with local communities, and we also have increased efforts to make certain that community organizations have current information. we would like to a knowledge of the work that they have been doing in this area and we have cultivated strength and partnerships with the verse routes, such as the national association of colored people, the legal services corp., and the buddhist foundation. we have been working with the national association of translators, the virtual
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translation center, the national disability rights networks, and save the children. we also work with the u.s. humane society. i see that my time is short and i will move on. but the red cross is also involved in continuing to improve disaster response in a cost-effective way. the needs of the most will marble are magnified by disasters, at the same time that charitable organizations are decreasing. like many nonprofit organizations, we are faced with financial challenges. the major disasters of 2008 like the wild fires and the hurricanes created expenses with foreign based donations. >> could you please try to finish?


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