But Walker is quick to point out that COVID-19 was by no means the only event that WSP’s emergency management and disaster response team has responded to over the past year. In fact, while managing COVID-19 testing sites in the fall, the team had to mobilize to respond to hurricanes in the Southeast.
“We received calls to deploy to Florida, Alabama and Louisiana to provide support for hurricane responses,” Walker said.
And these assignments, executed under WSP’s Advance Contract Initiative for Emergency Power contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, required deployment within 21 hours of notification.
“That means having mechanics, electricians and management staff onsite and prepared to deploy generators within 21 hours, managing turnkey generator support including installation, maintenance, repair, fueling, and demobilization,” he added.
California’s wildfire season also triggered calls for WSP’s emergency management services within the last year.
“Since Thanksgiving, and under the leadership of Tim Jamison, Shannon McKinney and Hobart Price, more than 75 WSP staff and 200 personnel have been working daily on the California fire recovery projects, responsible for the oversight and orchestration of the debris testing, analysis, and disposal of debris and assessment of tree damage,” Walker said.
Looking ahead, Walker expects that his team and their subcontractors will move on from COVID-19 even more prepared to handle future disasters.
“We’re in the business of preparing for the unexpected,” he said. “Every disaster requires something that the previous one didn’t require. Our clients hire us to be the solution that they couldn’t come up with on their own.”
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