GSA Prepares to Respond to Hurricane Wilma
GSA # 10197
October 21, 2005
Contact: Mary Alice Johnson, (202) 501-1231
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Hurricane Wilma threatens South Florida, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is making around-the-clock preparations to assist the coordinated federal response. GSA plays supporting and leading roles in the government’s National Response Plan, by providing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies with needed information and resources, including supplies and services. The USA Services program, managed by GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications, also helps citizens access accurate, timely and consistent answers about the hurricane and the response via phone, the Internet and e-mail.
“We are ready to provide acquisition services and resource support to FEMA and the interagency community to help them carry out their missions to provide assistance to the people who may be impacted by Hurricane Wilma,” said GSA Administrator Stephen A. Perry.
Steps GSA has taken as a responder:
- Provided a contingency plan for uninterrupted service from USA Services’ National Contact Center (NCC) – 1(800) FED INFO (1-800-333-4636) in the event that the hurricane damages the call center location in Florida. NCC is operating nationally 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Updated USA Services’ FirstGov Web site (www.FirstGov.gov) with links to services tracking the course of Hurricane Wilma. FirstGov and FirstGov en Español (www.espanol.gov; FirstGov’s Spanish-language counterpart) also provide information on emergency preparedness.
The following are among the steps GSA is taking:
- Communicating with senior-level members of the Federal Executive Board in the region, which includes representatives from all of the agencies involved.
- Communicating with GSA agency customers including FEMA about preparations.
- Shipping two of six Recreational Vehicles (RV) from Gulfport, Mississippi, where needs are decreasing, to Orlando, Florida, where they will be deployed as necessary.
- Deploying three real estate specialists to Orlando, Florida from the Public Buildings Service to assist agencies.
- Tapping approximately 50 GSA contracting specialists from outside the region to stand ready to help.
- Deploying satellite phones and GPS devices to the personnel being deployed and those already in the area.