USDA announced that it is working in conjunction with FEMA to assist people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Some of the areas in which USDA employees are working include:
- Forest Service wildfire suppression crews and incident management teams are being mobilized and sent to the East Coast to support state and local partners as they respond to Hurricane Sandy. Currently, six incident management teams and eleven wildfire suppression crews, a total of more than 250 personnel, are staged in or en route to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C in coordination with local emergency managers to perform tasks such as clearing downed trees from roads or providing communications equipment and support to local emergency response agencies.
- USDA Food and Nutrition Service is on standby to provide USDA foods to state agencies for distribution to shelters or directly to households, and authorizing state agencies to issue Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (D-SNAP) benefits.
- USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has deployed animal care experts to provide pet-liaison services to FEMA in Philadelphia.
- USDA Rural Development (RD) staff is reaching out to all telecommunications, electric and water system borrowers to assess any damages and offer assistance where necessary.