Lone Star State Team Provides Sandy Relief
Gov. Rick Perry is sending a third Incident Management Team (IMT) from Texas to New York to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. The 39-person team is comprised of emergency-trained personnel from the Texas A&M Forest Service, along with first responders from across the state. "Texans are very good about helping their neighbors, and we're just extending that neighbor attitude up to New York," says Justice Jones, spokesman for the Lone Star State Incident Management Team. The team is departing this week right after Christmas. In a statement, Gov. Perry says, "I'm proud that Texans continue to offer their skills and expertise to help restore some normalcy to the lives of people affected by this horrific storm."
Two months after Sandy slammed the east coast, there is still a lot of recovery work to be done. "One of the things we've learned in Texas based on our experience with hurricanes, is the recovery process is long and arduous," says Jones. This latest team will be charged with helping in that recovery process. That includes assisting residents of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island with basic needs like electricity, water, and medical attention that many still lack. "Our goal is simply to assist them in any way we can in recovering from this incident," says Jones. "And we know very well that someday we may be in the same boat."
Indeed, Texas is far more likely to face a hurricane than New York, and thus Texans have valuable experience with these storms that can help New York. But Jones sees the effort as beneficial for both states. "We're there to lend our expertise and the hard lessons that we've learned," he says. "But also to learn as much as we can from our partners in New York and bring that back, to make the Texas Incident Management Teams even stronger." It's a goodwill gesture that may pay off for Texans in the long run.
Follow the Texas A&M Forest Service Blog to keep up with the Texas Incident Management Team during their assignment: http://texasamforestservice.wordpress.com/