A week of frigid weather across Texas didn’t stop Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas East team from supplying fuel in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s call for help.
The crisis was the result of two severe winter storms sweeping across the United States on Feb. 10-11 and 13-17. Texas experienced record low temperatures overwhelming the power grid creating widespread life-threating electrical and water service interruptions for days. As of Feb. 21, more than 29,000 people remained without electricity according to poweroutrage.us.
President Biden approved emergency declarations for Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, authorizing FEMA to provide emergency protective measures for mass care and sheltering and direct federal assistance.
FEMA issued a DLA Warning Order on Feb. 17 in preparation for fuel support for FEMA Region 6 (Texas) with 10,000 gallons of winterized diesel fuel to deliver to three different locations, said DLA Energy Americas Operations Support Director David Ray.
“This was all accomplished within 48 hours of receiving the official FEMA Mission Assignment despite rolling power outages from effects of the freezing, rain, and snow,” Ray said. “DLA Energy Americas Task Force Americas volunteers responded immediately despite enduring days without electrical power and water to their Texas homes.”
Task Force Americas is a team of DLA Energy employees who respond to and support a variety of emergency situations under the Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission. Together with contingency fuel contractors, the team is running daily missions from the Regional Support Areas to provide gasoline and propane to hospitals, health centers and schools.
“Task Force Americas deployed ‘fuel on wheels’ teams with a contracted fleet of 46 fuel tanker trucks carrying winter grade diesel and gasoline to locations all around Texas in support of FEMA, state, and local first responders,” Ray said.
DLA FEMA Liaison Officer Bob Gagnon explained that DLA received a mission assignment to provide a total of 140,000 gallons of fuel – 70,000 winterized diesel and 70,000 gasoline – to three locations in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. In addition, FEMA issued three distribution orders to set up fueling points in Ennis, Tyler and Commerce, Texas.
The fuel has been on site since Saturday and is currently scheduled to remain until March 13, Gagnon said.
“Despite significant obstacles and personal hardships, Task Force Americas exhibited great dedication, flexibility, and teamwork in support of FEMA and the state of Texas with critical fuel support,” said DLA Energy Americas Commander Army Col. Raphael Heflin. “We will continue to provide support as long as we are needed.”
A formal interagency agreement for logistics support exists between DLA and FEMA since 2005. Annex B of the FEMA/DLA Interagency Agreement outlines the fuel support provisions between the two agencies and covers ground fuel support and services during presidentially declared national emergencies and disasters.