Federal Emergency Management Agency employees work in the mobile communications operations center at the Lakehurst staging area Oct. 30, 2012, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. FEMA is working to get needed supplies to areas throughout New York and New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. David J. Murphy)
A team of Federal Emergency Management Agency engineers and electricians work to get generators field-ready at the Lakehurst staging area Oct. 30, 2012, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Generators and other supplies are being prepared for distribution throughout the New York and New Jersey regions in response to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. David J. Murphy)
by 2nd Lt. David J. Murphy
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs
11/2/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency stand ready to provide disaster relief to the New York and New Jersey regions from a staging area on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Trucks carrying water, food, blankets, generators and many other supplies began arriving Oct. 26, a few days before Hurricane Sandy's arrival. The supplies found a home around the site of the Hindenburg memorial on Lakehurst.
Although many trucks are currently staged here, more are expected throughout the coming weeks to enable a strategic response to relief efforts related to Hurricane Sandy.
"Lakehurst was the perfect site to use as a staging area because of its proximity to major cities, the large amount of available space and the built-in security," said Tony Moore, FEMA incident support base site manager.
The installation is supporting Region II and III FEMA operations. Region II serves New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands; while Region III serves Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
"This is a great staging area and base personnel have been very supportive," added Moore. "Working with the joint base has been a 'piece of cake.' They approached me with an extended hand and were able to provide an array of services, some I didn't even think of."
Joint base personnel provided lighting at the site for FEMA ahead of their arrival and are supplying the group with fuel they need to provide assistance to communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.
"We're here to act as a hub for supplies," said Moore. "When we get requests from the state, we send the supplies where they need to go."
FEMA primarily provides support to states facing a disaster or potential disaster, said David Heitner, FEMA logistics specialist.
"When a county, city or town has a problem it can't handle, the community members ask for assistance from the state," said Heitner. "If the state doesn't have the resources to handle the request, or if FEMA would be quicker, they work with a federal coordinating officer to ensure the needs are met."
Heitner added that the interaction between the base commanders and FEMA has been excellent and is enabling the agency to accomplish its mission.
"I worked with FEMA to make sure they had lodging and fuel among other needs," said 2nd Lt. Madison Scaccia, 87th Logistics Readiness Squadron reception control officer. "We're here to support FEMA and all organizations utilizing the base in any way we can. We're all on the same team."
FEMA was created in 1979 when President Carter used Executive Order 12127 to merge a number of separate disaster-related agencies into one. FEMA came under the control of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. FEMA's mission is "to lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of 'A Nation Prepared.'"