Interagency Hurricane Response Effort Centered in Atlanta

Teams usually associated with fighting wildfires are being coordinated in Atlanta and sent to respond to the aftermath created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 


More than 4500 members of an interagency wildland firefighting community have been mobilized by the Southern Area Coordination Center in Atlanta to assist with hurricane recovery efforts in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. 


The Incident Management Teams, comprised of professionals from federal, state and local wildland fire organizations, have sent thousands of individuals trained to rapidly respond to catastrophic incidents. 


“Our teams are accustomed to emergency situations and can apply the same knowledge to hurricane response that we use while responding to wildfires,” said Janet Anderson, Director for Fire and Aviation for the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service in Atlanta.  “Our Incident Command System has proven to be an extremely effective model for emergency response because it brings a large amount of resources and logistical expertise very quickly to impacted areas. “


For example, one of the first teams on the scene in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was the Southern Area ‘Red Team’.  This Incident Management Team, comprised of individuals from across the South, coordinated the feeding of thousands and assisted in transporting more than 23,000 evacuees.  In addition, they supported an Air Force triage hospital and created an interagency communication system at the New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport.

The Southern Area Coordination Center (SACC) is a key player in the National Incident Management System, developed to coordinate and provide support in emergency situations. SACC is the focal point for mobilizing resources such as aircraft, crews, equipment, and personnel in support of wildland fires and disaster relief efforts.  The Center is one of 11 Geographic Area Coordination Centers throughout the United States that work in concert with the National Interagency Coordination Center.

A link to a map with resources mobilized for the hurricane response of the wildland firefighting community hurricane response is located at:


REPORTERS:  Interviews with team members and key personnel can be arranged by calling the contact numbers listed above.