The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance today announced that an 11-member team from Tennessee is being deployed to Baton Rouge, La. to assist survivors of an historic flood event that has caused 13 fatalities and damaged an estimated 40,000 homes.
The Department of Commerce and Insurance is assembling the team consisting of deputy state fire marshals from middle and west Tennessee, who will assist Louisiana emergency officials with incident management, building and fire code enforcement, and the inspection of commercial and residential structures for permitting.
“The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office is always ready to help our neighbors in times of need and tragedy,” Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said. “We express our heartfelt condolences to Louisiana residents who have suffered losses during this historic flooding. The State Fire Marshal’s Office will do our best to help them recover during the weeks ahead.”
A six-member fire marshals team will deploy on August 21 to Baton Rouge and stay until August 30. A member of the first team will remain in Baton Rouge preparing for the deployment of a second, five-member fire marshals team from Tennessee. The second team will be in Baton Rouge from August 28through September 6.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is working with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) in Louisiana to coordinate the deployment of Tennessee personnel to help with the flooding response and recovery.
The deployment is occurring through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is a national, interstate mutual aid agreement enabling states to share resources during times of disaster. Tennessee law authorizes the deployment of personnel and resources through EMAC to other states during disasters.
“Cooperation among states and agencies is fundamental to effective emergency management,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “Tennessee has been there for Louisiana through hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav. I am proud we are able to support the state again during these terrible floods, and further our mission as emergency managers to save and protect lives.”
The last EMAC deployment from Tennessee occurred in October 2015 for the historic flooding in South Carolina from Hurricane Joaquin.
Federal officials are calling the historic Louisiana flooding the worst in the nation since Hurricane Sandy. On Friday, Aug. 12, heavy rain from a slow-moving low pressure system caused local rivers and streams in parishes in and near Baton Rouge to top their banks. More than two feet of rain fell over five days in Louisiana, and at one point, more than 31 inches of rain fell in 15 hours.
About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI is charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Athletic Commission, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Corrections Institute, Emergency Communications Board, Fire Prevention, Insurance, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Peace Officers Standards and Training, Regulatory Boards, Securities, and TennCare Oversight.
About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders.