An inside look at FEMA's Harvey Headquarters

The storm itself may be over -- but the long term effects left by Harvey will take years to repair.

The storm itself may be over, but the long-term effects of Hurricane Harvey will take years to repair.

FEMA has stepped in to get people help as quickly as possible, and KVUE's Tina Shively got a behind-the-scenes look at how it all happens.

Coming from places like Arkansas, Arizona, Washington and Florida, more than 1,000 FEMA workers now pack the parking lot of the old Golfsmith headquarters off I-35.

The teams are managing the recovery effort following Hurricane Harvey.

"Most of the people who work here are reservists, that means they only work in times of disaster," said Deanna Frazier.

Frazier has been in media relations at FEMA for eight years.

At first, she spent only three or four months on the road, but then things changed.

"The past two years I've worked seven or eight months out of the year. So that takes me away from my family, away from my home to help the survivors wherever the disaster takes me."

Frazier gave us an inside look at how the joint field office, or JFO, works.

"External affairs does congressional affairs, intergovernmental affairs," she explained. "PA is public assistance, it is the area that helps with cities, counties, municipalities."

Frazier says FEMA tries to have an abundance of people working on individual assistance.

"These are people's lives were talking about and they don't have a place to live, they may not have the groceries they need. If FEMA can come in and provide assistance to get those kinds of things to them through our critical needs assistance, we want to be able to do that."

Just how long it will take to clean up the trillions of gallons it's estimated Harvey dumped on the coast, is anyone's guess.

"The answer that we like to give is that we'll be here as long as we're needed. Whether that's several months or several weeks. This is going to be in the months, definitely you can tell by the size of it? Yes, we'll be here for quite some time"

The clusters upon clusters of cubicles you just saw aren't the extent of FEMA's presence in Austin.

There are two other FEMA centers here in the capital city all helping the Texas coast get the help they deserve.

 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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