The Bay Area's lifeline to hurricane victims

- The disaster that has befallen Texas and the one soon to hit Florida is being relieved by a rarely visited Bay Area facility.  NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California has a very important tenant: FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The FEMA Emergency Supply Warehouse here is already engaged in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

On most days, most every shelf of every rack in this 110,000 square foot complex is full of supplies that are stacked to the rafters. But today, many of Moffett's racks are empty as FEMA has been sending the most critical supplies to Hurricane Harvey victims in the greater Houston Area. Much of this warehouse's staff are deployed to Houston and, soon, Florida.

While these warehouses have all manner of goods, it's the big six, the things that sustain life that are the most important and take up the most volume: water, Meals Ready-to-Eat, volume, blankets, tarps and plastic sheets. FEMA also has all manner and size of large generators. That's critical because they can be trucked, or just as easily flown, to a disaster site within hours.  FEMA can also supply many other items as it is capable of drawing on most Federal supplies and services as needed.

In the wake of the Katrina disaster in 2005, the Obama Administration reorganized FEMA.  Its warehouse staff was increased from 28 employees to 190 for better, quicker service. The goal was to improve FEMA's ability to acquire and deliver goods and services needed to relieve the suffering of disaster survivors. 

The center may be moved to Tracy, well away from the San Andreas and Hayward Faults to lessen the earthquake damage and FEMA's ability to serve. But Moffett Field has a major airfield capable of quickly deploying supplies on the Air Force's biggest cargo jets. 

Primary Distribution Centers are now also located in Atlanta, Georgia; Fort Worth, Texas; Cumberland, Maryland; Frederick, Maryland; Hawaii; Guam and Puerto Rico witch is getting slammed as we speak by mega Hurricane Irma. Other FEMA centers can provide temporary housing, such as trailers, to help keep people in the region during the recovery. All FEMA centers will contribute to this double disaster whammy.

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