JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Sullivan County EMA Director Jim Beam has traveled to Tallahassee to help after Hurricane Ian hit Florida.
Beam said that he arrived Thursday and is working in the State Emergency Operations Center on plans for when personnel start to de-mobilize and start to leave the state.
“It’s probably going to be – some of the teams when they deploy only deploy 14 days at a time, then they swap out personnel, so I’m not sure off the top of my head, but the disaster’s been going on probably 7-8 days. Within a week, the next 6-7 days, there will be some teams that will have to be demobilized and go back home and be replaced by another team or different personnel,” Beam stated.
Beam says that he is not on the front lines nor has he talked to people directly in the field, but rather he is working on the planning section of the ongoing efforts.
“We’ve had disasters in the state of Tennessee that I’ve participated in. We’ve done these types of plans but at a smaller level. This is just much larger. When it comes time to set up locations for teams to go to, I’m having to have a steep learning curve of the geography of the state of Florida, and then understanding which areas or which counties were hit the hardest, so we can’t set up those sites for them to demobilize out of in the damaged areas,” said Beam. “There’s an enormous amount of resources that are in the state of Florida. Both local, state and federal [are] assisting the people down here. From emergency services, utilities, pretty much anything. People [are] being fed, shelters set up.”
Beam said that the longest he can stay is 14 days, so he anticipates being back soon.