Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

UDAF Participates in Florida Hurricane Relief Efforts

As of October 4th, UDAF Homeland Security Coordinator, Thayne Mickelson, is in hurricane damaged Florida as part of a special Utah Emergency Management Assistance Compact, or EMAC assignment.  His group is getting ready to receive up to 70,000 evacuees from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. His assignment is to aid in human and animal services missions following Hurricane Irma, the storm that struck much of Florida.    

Thayne writes: “We are spending the day setting up receiving pods, temporary shelters and food and water supplies to feed them during the transition to identify their long term needs. They are assuming that some of these individuals will never return. What will be their new life? 

“All of this is going on while still working on the recovery efforts. Amazingly most of the power grid and transportation is back on line minus a few areas on the tip of Florida and down through the keys.”

The assignment expands Thayne’s emergency preparedness experience should he need it back in Utah. “I get the chance to help look at the big picture decisions, review and check documents to ensure information is complete and accurate and to follow up to make sure resources are being received as expected,” he says.