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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 3

Texas Division of Emergency Management and FEMA Corps

Drone

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) launched an innovative partnership that established a FEMA-devoted unit of 1,600 service corps members within AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). Solely devoted to emergency preparedness, response and recovery, FEMA Corps members focus on disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery activities.

FEMA Corps is an innovative take on combining the strength of civil society programs with emergency management. Young adults between the ages of 18-24 join FEMA Corps seeking to gain training and experience while contributing to public and civic service. They serve for 10 months and have an option to enlist for a second term.

FEMA Corps member provide a range of disaster support. They work directly with disaster survivors, support disaster recovery centers as well as share valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) partnered with FEMA Region VI on an assignment that offered these enthusiastic teams essential emergency management experience at the state level.

Schedule of Events and Objectives

FEMA Corps Green Two, a specialized logistics team of seven members, was assigned to TDEM from August 3, 2015 to November 5, 2015. The team was instrumental with completing several logistics projects, such as analyzing resource requests from previous emergencies, developing a logistics resource catalog, standardizing an inventory management system and developing a training presentation on how to create comprehensive resource requests. But the most notable project was a complete reconfiguration of the emergency commodities stored at the TDEM warehouse in Lufkin, Texas. Fortunately, a second FEMA Corps team, Gulf Two, was assigned to TDEM and joined the warehouse project. The initial plan was to reorganize approximately 300 pallets of commodities, conduct a physical inventory of all items and update the electronic inventory management system. At least that was the plan

Upon entering the warehouse, it was observed that all TDEM managed assets had been moved from their last known location in the facility to a completely different area of the 200,000 square foot warehouse. This move negated all previous organization and inventory efforts, causing the team to adjust the plan. Instead of handling about half of the inventory, the team would have to handle all of it.

November 2, 2015

This is what the Logistics Team walked into

This is what the Logistics Team walked into.

Day one: The warehouse tour and orientation were completed, and FEMA Corps Green Two provided FEMA Corps Gulf Two a warehouse operations and safety briefing. The first day concluded with hands-on pallet jack training to get familiar with the commodities being organized.

Rachel and Feliciano (Left) and Emarah and Leslie (Right) practice with the pallet jacks

Rachel and Feliciano (Left) and Emarah and Leslie (Right) practice with the pallet jacks.

November 3, 2015

Day two: The teams got fully immersed in the project. The Operations Officer Miriam Moran quickly devised a plan to stage, organize by size, position, and inventory all the TDEM owned items in the warehouse. The process took considerable effort since the pallets were all mixed up, some needed replacement pallets, others needed items reconfigured and/or consolidated, and others needed to be completely rebuilt. The first day produces significant results, with 12 groups of 20 pallets positioned for immediate use.

November 4, 2015

Pallets were sorted by size and prepared for placement in same-sized groups

Pallets were sorted by size and prepared for placement in same-sized groups.

Day three: The teams continued with warehouse operations and successfully completed around 90 percent of the reconfiguration. The inventory management specialists completed a 100 percent inspection of the electronic system as well as physically verifying the items.

November 5, 2015

Day four: The teams put the final touches on the warehouse project by completing the final 10 percent of the reconfiguration. They cleaned up the area, disposed of all the unserviceable pallets and turned off the lights. The warehouse mission was complete.

Panoramic picture of the completed inventory reorganization at the TDEM-Lufkin warehouse

Panoramic picture of the completed inventory reorganization at the TDEM-Lufkin warehouse.

This picture illustrates the precision achieved by the Logistics Team

This picture illustrates the precision achieved by the Logistics Team.

FEMA Corps Gulf 2 pictured on the left with FEMA Corps Green 2 on the right

FEMA Corps Gulf 2 pictured on the left with FEMA Corps Green 2 on the right.


Wade Parks, Logistics Section Coordinator pictured with Green 2

Wade Parks, Logistics Section Coordinator pictured with Green 2.


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