Eric Katz | August 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

8,500 Federal Employees Are Aiding the Harvey Response—Here’s What They’re Doing

A FEMA rescue team evacuates people from a neighborhood inundated by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Monday, Aug. 28. A FEMA rescue team evacuates people from a neighborhood inundated by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Monday, Aug. 28. Charlie Riedel/AP

Federal agencies across government have deployed employees to Texas and elsewhere in response to Hurricane Harvey, with more than 8,500 workers directly contributing to relief efforts.

Several agencies have been been taking action for days and weeks before Harvey made landfall Friday evening, through forecasting and preparatory work. The efforts intensified over the weekend, as heavy winds destroyed properties and prodigious rainfall flooded areas throughout Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana. Now, more than a dozen federal agencies have sent staff and other resources either directly into the wake of the storm or to various coordinating centers facilitating the response.

The Office of Personnel Management reminded agencies of the governmentwide direct hiring authorities in place for certain types of jobs as agencies staff up for hurricane duties, while the General Services Administration told its federal partners about special disaster relief purchasing programs available and loosened restrictions on reimbursements and government purchase card use.

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Throughout the process, the Trump administration has touted the seamlessness with which federal agencies are working both with each other and state and local authorities. Here is a look at the personnel and materials agencies have contributed to the effort so far:

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