Early on Tuesday (12 September), a crisis support team arrived in the United States to assist German and European victims of Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma caused great devastation as it raged across the Caribbean and the south‑eastern United States. Last week, the Federal Foreign Office already set up a crisis unit. Moreover, a crisis support team comprised of staff from the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, the German Bundeswehr and members of professional fire brigades arrived in the US in the early hours of Tuesday (12 September). The team is in the US to assist German and European citizens who have been severely affected by the hurricane.
Crisis Response Centre currently staffed around the clock
Up to 200,000 German citizens are currently in Florida and in the Caribbean islands. That is why the Crisis Response Centre at the Federal Foreign Office has been working around the clock since Saturday. A regional crisis centre has been set up in Atlanta to coordinate the efforts. The task of the seconded crisis support team is to help the Consulate General in Atlanta rapidly assist German citizens affected by the hurricane in consular matters.
Ready to help: experts of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief
The seconded experts of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief are also ready to support US Government authorities in their disaster response efforts. The German agency’s staff are experts at coordinating the logistics of aid activities following such disasters. The same staff most recently helped in the US in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. At that time, high‑capacity pumps of the German agency drew more than five million cubic metres of flood water out of New Orleans.
Evacuation of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin
A Bundeswehr A400M cargo plane has also taken off for Curaçao, where it will deliver aid supplies and help German citizens in the Caribbean who have been affected by Hurricane Irma. The evacuation of German citizens from Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is being organised over the next two days.