TSA continues assistance with hurricane recovery efforts, resumes security operations in hard hit areas
WASHINGTON – In response to each of the hurricanes in September, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) deployed more than 1,100 members of its workforce to impacted areas. This includes 500 individuals deployed to supplement local screening staff at airports and another 660 who volunteered to serve on DHS’s Surge Capacity Force to get needed aid directly to storm survivors.
TSA employees from across the country volunteered to assist with airport security operations to help impacted airports reopen, as well as provide disaster assistance to survivors on the ground. While waiting to learn about the extent of the damage, hundreds more have volunteered to head to the affected areas in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
“My thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those impacted by the devastating hurricanes,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske, who visited Houston in early September and recently visited Florida and the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma.
“I am proud and humbled by the spirit and dedication to service exhibited by the TSA workforce. Several TSA officers even walked miles from their homes in St. Thomas to reach the airport,” said Pekoske. “Make no mistake, TSA stands ready to help reopen impacted airports following Hurricane Maria, and I am very gratified by the continued commitment to mission demonstrated by TSA employees across the country.”
At the Cyril King Airport (STT) in St. Thomas, there is still significant structural damage to the airport due to Hurricane Irma, and continued flooding. While much of the security screening equipment was damaged in the storm, TSA has been using alternative screening methods, including canine teams and hand-held metal detectors, to screen passengers on charter flights. TSA will continue to use local personnel and volunteers who have deployed from airports to support security operations as the airport and airlines recover.
TSA volunteers came from across the agency including 20 airports: Boston Logan International (BOS), Bradley International Airport (BDL), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Oakland International Airport (OAK), Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), Sacramento International Airport (SMF), San Diego International Airport (SAN), General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), Portland International Airport (PDX), McCarran International Airport (LAS) and Indianapolis International Airport (IND), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), O’Hare International Airport (ORD), San Antonio International Airport (SAT), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Minneapolis- St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).
To learn more about DHS and FEMA efforts, visit the FEMA Hurricane Harvey resources and information page or the Hurricane Irma resources and information page. FEMA continues to urge survivors to register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov for FEMA assistance.