GSA Shores Up Critical Support in Katrina's Aftermath

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Posted September 1, 2005

In the event of an emergency, as in the case of the recent Hurricane Katrina which affected the Gulf Coast states, the U.S. General Services Administration provides support across all 50 states, in the U.S. territories and protectorates.

The Office of Emergency Management coordinates GSA's assistance to other agencies during a disaster.

By coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security and its Federal Emergency Management Agency, GSA provides support to other federal agencies when there is a presidential declaration of disaster or other incident of national significance.

In addition, as the landlord for the federal government, GSA's Public Buildings Service has a total inventory of over 342 million square feet of workspace for 1 million federal employees in 2,000 American communities. With all that space, in times of a disaster or crisis situation, GSA is able to provide workspace as well as services and other support to assist citizens and other federal agencies.

GSA’s Public Buildings Service also provides interagency emergency support in realty specialist services; space leasing; construction services; building maintenance services; property protection; and excess and real property services.

Also, GSA is able to provide such services as contracting officer services; travel and transportation services; property management disposition of excess and surplus personal property; fleet management; logistics; as well as telecommunications support.

Following the hurricane devastation of last year, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used the FirstContact contract to set up a call center to respond to victims of those hurricanes. Within days, a task order was awarded to FEMA and call center services were up and running.

As Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, and FirstGov en Español began providing links to the latest information available on the hurricane from FEMA. Additional information concerning disaster recovery and assistance is now available on both sites. Managed by GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications, FirstGov is the official web portal of the U.S. government.

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