GSA’s role in supporting its government partners is never more important than in an emergency. This week, Hurricane Sandy brought heavy rains, major flooding, and damaging winds to the Northeast, parts of the Mid-Atlantic, and even the Midwest. As a result, GSA is stepping up its efforts to support the entirety of the U.S. Government response.
Before and during the storm, GSA secured some 2,100 federal facilities in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Although some federal buildings are still closed to the public, the federal government operated during the storm and continues operating to ensure the safety of our citizens and effective response to the storm. While many GSA employees in the storm’s path still cannot make it into the office, many of us are using telework to work from alternate locations to ensure that we are meeting our responsibilities to our fellow agencies and the American people.
During an emergency such as Sandy, GSA offers a variety of services that will help federal agencies throughout the affected regions get individuals the assistance they need as quickly as possible, during and after the storm. The GSA Disaster Relief Program provides federal agencies, as well as local and state governments, quick access to disaster and emergency related supplies, equipment, and services. Whether it is first responder equipment, emergency food supplies, or medicine, this program is a quick and effective way to get the resources needed in an emergency to the people who need them.
GSA also provides IT products and services to the entire federal government through IT Schedule 70, the largest, most widely used acquisition vehicle in the federal government. During an emergency, this system can be used to provide invaluable IT solutions for preparedness, response, and support. Our IT center also provides state and local procurement programs to assist those governments in disaster recovery and emergency response.
In addition, GSA works with all vendors who contract with us to assist in relief efforts when needed. At the same time, we work with other federal agencies to provide guidance on the appropriate use of aircraft, vehicles, and personal property during times of emergency.
Over the next few days, GSA will be working with our partners at every level of government to respond to the disruptions of Hurricane Sandy and assist in the recovery effort. In the meantime, stay safe.