The Federal Emergency Management Agency has more than 1,100 employees currently supporting the response to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi, officials said on a call with reporters Thursday afternoon.
When asked about the agency’s ability to support both Louisiana and the northeastern states battered by rainfall, Matthew Payne, acting deputy assistant administrator for FEMA’s response operations division, said, “we leaned very far forward in our preparations prior to the storm making landfall.”
Payne said FEMA is “actively working to meet the needs” of people across multiple states amid several challenging situations, confirming that the agency is also prepared to support states impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.
More support: There are also more than 2,000 Red Cross volunteers active today across the country, including those that are sheltering over 500 people in the Northeast across seven states, Brad Kieserman, vice president of operations and logistics at the American Red Cross, said on the call.
Its efforts include sheltering nearly 3,500 people in Louisiana and providing support in multiple parishes.
As of Thursday morning, 13 hospitals were evacuated in Louisiana, according to Payne. Six were fully evacuated and five were previously evacuated but are open, he said, adding that they were still waiting for updates on two hospitals. All of the hospitals that were evacuated were evacuated to locations within the state.
FEMA is also providing several ambulances to Mississippi, along with Louisiana. There is also a 250-bed federal medical shelter in Alexandria, Louisiana.
As of Thursday afternoon, FEMA had 240,000 applicants for disaster assistance from the state of Louisiana, FEMA director of the Individual Assistance Division Chris Smith said.
FEMA has awarded nearly $93 million in individual assistance in Louisiana.