Over the weekend, the Intermountain Incident Management Team took operational control of the Service’s Hurricane Sandy response efforts in the New York Harbor Area from the National Park Service IMT.
The National Park Service IMT, which was formed by the merger of the Eastern and Midwestern teams, led the planning and initial response as Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29th. Fresh energy and new ideas made possible by the transition to a new team will ensure the work continues to move forward safely and efficiently. The transition also reaffirms the resiliency of the National Park Service in its commitment to its employees and the resources affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Ten of the 15 National Park sites initially closed due to the hurricane reopened over the past week; areas that remain closed include some of the National Park Service’s most prominent and popular parks – the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Gateway, and Fire Island. During the first 21 days of the incident, the flood waters receded and the teams made considerable progress both in caring for the needs of affected park employees and in stabilizing park resources. The road to normalcy for these parks will be a long one, though, and the NPS teams will endeavor to complete the task before them using sustainable and forward-thinking solutions, following the lead of Director Jarvis, who said last week during his address to employees on site that “we need to be thinking about how we create sustainability in all of our structures and facilities” as we respond to Hurricane Sandy.
Nearly every park and program in the system has contributed to the Sandy recovery efforts, which stretch the length of the eastern seaboard and west to the Appalachian Mountains. Parks in every region have donated people, resources, and uniforms to those affected by Hurricane Sandy personally and professionally. The dedication of all parks and the incident management teams to helping those parks affected return to fulfilling the mission of the National Park Service will continue until the work is complete.
Currently working with the team are 526 National Park Service employees from 115 National Park Service units and 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, with more staff continuing to arrive. Regular updates on their work will resume tomorrow.
More information on the response can be found at these websites:
- Hurricane response and recovery – A webpage with current information on the NPS response to Hurricane Sandy.
- Resource needs shopping list – A ”shopping list” of incident management team positions that still need to be filled, updated daily.
- Hurricane Sandy relief fund – E&AA has set up a relief fund web page where you can make donations in support of employees who were affected by the storm.
- Uniform donations – Information on donating uniforms to employees can be found at this web page.
- Facebook – A Facebook page managed by the IMT with updates on the response.
- Twitter – A Twitter page managed by the IMT with updates on the response.
- Flickr – A Flickr page managed by the IMT with images of the response.