Ahead of the June 1st start of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and VITEMA Director Nominee Daryl Jaschen, on Tuesday, visited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distribution center that contains housing equipment and other sustenance commodities essential for U.S. Virgin Islands’ disaster preparedness and response.
Bryan and Jaschen visited the distribution center in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, where they met with FEMA officials to discuss the supply chain logistics process and the requirements for coordination between FEMA and the V.I. government before the traditional hurricane season.
The distribution center supports FEMA disaster responders in both PR and the USVI with critical equipment and supplies as well as life-saving and life-sustaining resources during disaster operations.
“There were some critical breakdowns in logistics after the 2017 hurricanes that we do not want to reoccur. I have all the confidence in VITEMA Director Nominee Daryl Jaschen and Territorial Adjutant General Nominee Kodjo Knox-Limbacker as they continue their work to ensure proactive disaster preparedness planning,” the governor said.
“One of the goals of the territory going into the 2019 hurricane season is to be able to access vital real-time visibility of logistics from time-of-supply order to delivery,” Jaschen said.
At the start of hurricane season in 2017, the FEMA distribution center in Puerto Rico held 250,000 meals, more than 700,000 liters of water and more than 13,000 tarps.
By Sept. 15, 2017, following hurricane Irma, FEMA had sent the USVI 90 percent of the bottled water, 61 percent of the meals and 100 percent of the tarps and cots from its warehouse.
Five days later, Maria struck Puerto Rico, closing its ports and preventing FEMA from receiving and shipping new supplies. A FEMA hurricane after action report recommended increasing the number of supplies it stocks outside the continental U.S. and developing a more comprehensive understanding of local, regional and national supply chains.