WSP has been providing services nationally to the U.S. Postal Service; to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through its regional divisions and districts; and to state agencies for emergency management and related services in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia and Delaware, as well as New York City, Washington, D.C. and several counties.
“WSP staff and managers are out in the field as well as embedded in state and local EOCs, warehouses, client facilities and other locations that are deemed critical by our clients,” said Vince Ricevuto, senior vice president of federal programs and logistics at WSP. “This work is around-the-clock, 24/7, by its very nature.”
In the case of COVID-19 it has been this way for almost a month and will likely continue for weeks or even months into the future, until the pandemic subsides.
“This cadence and unknown duration are typical for major emergencies and disasters, and require a high degree of composure, resourcefulness, agility, professionalism, energy, patience and stamina,” Lewis said.
The nationwide, long-duration impact of COVID-19 has crippled many of the supply chains for necessary items, such as personal protective equipment. At times, this has put a strain on relationships between states, and between states and the federal government, as they struggle to protect their citizens.
“Normally when there is a crisis, the unimpacted states are able to help the impacted states, and the Federal government is able to coordinate everything under the National Response Framework (NRF),” Lewis said.
“The biggest difference between this and other disasters is the unknown,” Ricevuto added. “How long will this go? Who might have the virus? Do we have enough
protection? How do you know what is contaminated/compromised? How do you know when you have done enough? More traditional disasters like hurricanes, tornados, floods and earthquakes impact a more defined geography, and the bulk of the response actually happens in the days and weeks after the impact.”