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New Mexico emergency managers arrive in Louisiana to assist with hurricane recovery

 

Santa Fe, NM – The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) announced Wednesday that a team of New Mexico emergency managers has arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to assist with local response and recovery efforts related to Hurricane Ida.

Early last week, DHSEM received an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request from the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, which requested an Advanced-Team of emergency managers who can oversee on-the-ground emergency personnel, maintain mission reports, and provide technical and logistical support.

The Advanced-Team left New Mexico on September 6th, and they will be working in Louisiana’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) from September 8th to September 20th.

This two-person team is composed of:

  • Beverley Simpson: Emergency Management Commander for Los Alamos County, who has previously been deployed to support recovery efforts for Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina.
  • Emily Sand: DHSEM Operations Officer, who plays a vital role in overseeing the New Mexico EOC’s response to wildfires, flash flooding, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other disasters.

“Today I am honored to once again support Louisiana in response to Hurricane IDA as an Emergency Manager, almost 16 years to the day of my response to Hurricane Katrina,” said Beverley Simpson, Emergency Management Commander for Los Alamos County. “I will be supporting DHSEM and the Louisiana EOC by providing response and recovery assistance to all affected parishes through EMAC requests.”

“At DHSEM and the New Mexico EOC, our work requires that we study best practices, receive high-level training, and develop emergency management skills that allow us to support emergency responses to disasters across the country,” said DHSEM Operations Officer Emily Sand. “I am so proud to be part of this A-Team, and I know that the skills we bring will benefit Louisiana’s recovery efforts. Thank you to Governor Lujan Grisham for approving this assistance – our team is ready to support the people of Louisiana however we can.”

“New Mexico will always stand ready to assist our local and state partners in their time of need,” said DHSEM Secretary Bianca Ortiz-Wertheim. “We are all heartbroken by the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Ida, and we thank all the first responders and emergency managers who have worked so hard to save lives and protect critical infrastructure during this crisis. Additionally, thank you to Beverley and Emily for representing New Mexico and accepting this crucial assignment.”

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DHSEM works to protect the people of New Mexico and the nation through a comprehensive and coordinated program of mitigating hazards, preparing for emergencies, preventing attacks, and recovering from disasters.