Every year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sends hundreds of people to respond to disasters around the world. In 2011, the Philadelphia District deployed 37 employees to support emergency responses in Joplin, Mo. and Alabama following tornadoes as well as to communities affected by Missisippi and Missouri River flooding. The District also sends volunteers to support Overseas Contingency Operations. The Emergency Management Office supports these employees when they volunteer to deploy.
In any disaster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' top three priorities are:
1. Support immediate emergency response priorities.
2. Sustain lives with critical commodities, temporary emergency power and other needs.
3. Initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.
Flood Control & Coastal Emergencies
The Corps provides technical and direct assistance to communities to reduce risk to the public, property or the environment, with the emphasis on public safety under the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act, often called Public Law 84-99. The law gives the Corps the authority to provide a range of assistance - technical assistance, supplies and equipment, emergency contracting, strengthening flood control works, creating temporary levees, channel clearance, dam failure relief, levee rehabilitation and participation in an intergovernmental levee task force.
The Philadelphia District Emergency Management Office serves as the steward for Headquarters' Visibility Item program. The District is also designated as one of four host districts for the distribution of innovative flood fight technology products (Rapid Deployment Flood Wall, Hesco Bastion containers, and Portadam). The Rapid Deployment Flood Wall (RDFW) is a granular-filled, plastic grid unit that uses horizontal and vertical tabs to form a continuous structure. Hesco Bastion containers are granular-filled, permeable membrane-lined wire baskets that pin together to form a continuous structure. Portadam consists of an impermeable membrane liner that is supported by a steel frame that pins together to form a continuous structure.