Virginia Responds to Hurricane Katrina
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
CONTACT: Bob Spieldenner - (804) 674-2400
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Sept. 2, 2005
Information Available on How Citizens Can Help, Call Center Opening, Gas Situation Improving
RICHMOND, Va. - Resources from the Commonwealth of Virginia are providing help to areas of the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Governor Mark R. Warner declared a limited state of emergency within the Commonwealth on Wednesday, directing the Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) to coordinate state relief efforts in response to the hurricane. Actions taken include:
- Deploying more than 120 Virginia National Guardsmen, mainly military police, to assist in Louisiana; other Guardsmen have been activated.
- Deploying a team from the Virginia Department of Forestry to Louisiana with personnel, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment;
- Deploying a second team from the Virginia Department of Forestry to Louisiana to run a distribution center;
- Deploying a Virginia State Police helicopter equipped with a hoist, staffed by two pilots;
- Deploying 100 Virginia State Police troopers with a communication vehicle;
- Elevating to standby 36 VDOT "Tiger Teams," which are available to assist in debris clearance and road repair;
- Increased staffing at the Virginia Emergency Operations Center.
The Commonwealth is assessing its capacity to deploy mental health workers, correctional officers, state troopers, and HAZMAT teams. The Virginia Department of Health is identifying health care professionals to send to the affected areas.
Additionally, the Governor has requested that Virginia colleges and universities develop plans to accept students enrolled in hurricane-affected institutions. The Virginia Department of Education has asked local superintendents to prepare for displaced K-12 students who may be relocating to Virginia, in accordance with federal law.
The Department of Housing and Community Development has asked Virginia's manufactured housing industry to increase its production to help provide affordable housing in the Gulf states as soon as possible.