Northern Virginia Deploys High-Level Regional Hurricane Relief Team

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010

Sept. 13, 2005


Northern Virginia Deploys High-Level,
Regional Hurricane Relief Team to New Orleans

A 10-person team, representing five Northern Virginia jurisdictions, will deploy today to New Orleans as part of the region’s coordinated response to the area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Drawing from all levels of government – including a county executive, police chief, emergency managers and regional fire department leadership – the teams are comprised of senior staff from Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria.

The team, responding to a request from the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), is being led by Prince William County Executive Craig Gerhart. A mobile convoy will depart from the Fairfax County Government Center at approximately 5:30 p.m. and deploy to the New Orleans Emergency Management Center.

The Northern Virginia regional approach
After Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the region’s chief administrative officers – city and county managers – met during the Labor Day weekend to discuss how Northern Virginia could most effectively respond to a request for assistance.

“We quickly realized that the need in the Gulf Coast region would outstrip any single Northern Virginia jurisdiction’s ability to respond,” said team leader Gerhart. “Drawing from the region’s wealth of expertise, we have assembled a multi-jurisdictional, cross-disciplinary team of highly experienced emergency managers.”

“Our strength is our regional cooperation, and we do not take a parochial view when dealing with an emergency,” said Barbara A. Favola, chair of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. “In addition to assisting the victims of Katrina, this unique effort increases our regional ability to respond to a local disaster.”

The Northern Virginia team will replace emergency managers from North Carolina, who are returning home to prepare for the potential affects of Tropical Storm Ophelia, which is expected to make landfall in the Tar Heel State.

The team
Staff from the following jurisdictions is being deployed:

  • City of Alexandria
    John Crawford, Police Captain
  • Arlington County
    Ben Barksdale, Deputy Fire Chief
    Randy Gray, Fire Battalion Chief
    John Mausert Mooney, Division Director, Dept. of Environmental Services
  • Fairfax County
    Bill MacKay, Deputy Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management
    Mike Wood, Deputy Fire Chief
  • Loudoun County
    Jack Brown, Assistant Chief, Fire-Rescue
  • Prince William County
    Craig Gerhart, County Executive and team leader
    Charlie Deane, Police Chief
    Kevin McGee, Assistant Fire Chief

Northern Virginia’s regional Incident Support Team was activated on Sept. 4 to begin planning a joint response to the region affected by Katrina, and to respond to requests for assistance. It will remain staffed for as long as the regional team is deployed. The Fairfax County Alternate Emergency Operations Center has served as the hub for planning and coordination, bringing together police, fire, emergency management, public health and other expertise.

Be Ready. Make a Plan
Northern Virginia jurisdictions are also taking this opportunity to remind the public that September is National Preparedness Month. The region is participating in a National Capital Region campaign to raise residents’ emergency preparedness – “Be Ready. Make a Plan.” To find out more, please visit


Note To Media: The Northern Virginia Regional team will depart at approximately 5:30 p.m. from the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Northern Virginia is among the most diverse, highly educated and fiscally sound regions in the nation, representing 1.8 million people in 1,300 square miles.  The Northern Virginia economy is outpacing the nation and the region is home to a myriad of successful corporations and non-profits organizations. The deployed team represents the five major local jurisdictions in Northern Virginia: City of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Prince William County.


To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711

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