Department of Energy Stands Ready to Respond to Hurricane Laura
September 6, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with its interagency and private sector partners to prepare for the landfall of Hurricane Laura and support the energy sector response efforts.
“With Hurricane Laura rapidly approaching the U.S. Gulf Coast, President Trump is taking strong and decisive action to ensure the safety of the American people through this natural disaster,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “To assist in this emergency response effort, DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response (CESER) – created under this Administration to coordinate the Department’s security and resiliency response programs – is working with FEMA as well as our State and Local partners under the National Response Framework.”
In preparation, CESER has activated Emergency Support Function #12 responders to support the region and will remain active through the hurricane response. Additionally, DOE responders have been deployed to FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. and have completed deployments for Hurricane Laura response in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. DOE is also prepared to exercise its available authorities in response to potential energy sector impacts from Hurricane Laura and is posturing for adjacent regional impacts.
“Secretary Brouillette and I stand ready to assist in response and recovery efforts, including the potential to authorize the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), if directed by President Trump,” said Deputy Secretary Mark W. Menezes. “As an emergency response program, the SPR is operationally ready, even in the most adverse conditions, to drawdown as it has done previously to help our domestic oil and gas industry.”
In addition, DOE’s Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA) personnel have coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers and SWPA counterparts to prepare for the storm and respond to recovery assistance requests in the assessment of damage and support of restoration efforts when called upon.
DOE is coordinating with industry, interagency, and territorial partners to support preparedness efforts related to Hurricane Laura and will continue to support energy operations in response as the storm continues on its track.
The Department has also begun to post Situation Reports on its Hurricane Hub to share and amplify messages on preparedness from Secretary Brouillette, other Departmental leaders, interagency and private sector partners to the public.
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