Senior leaders with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from across the United States joined dozens of law enforcement personnel, emergency management professionals and practitioners from across the region for the 2019 CBP Region IV All Hazards Preparedness workshop this week ahead of this year’s hurricane season.
The two-day CBP Region IV All Hazards Preparedness event emphasized emergency management procedures and included strategic breakout discussions related to incident management efforts utilizing the Lead Field Coordinator (LFC) construct. Briefs focused on major and complex incidents, area command and the dynamics of local, state and federal partnerships.
During an emergency, CBP’s emergency response is conducted in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Response Framework.
CBP officers and agents join local, state, and federal partners during natural disasters and subsequent recovery efforts in maintaining an emergency operations center—supporting search and rescue services, recovery assessments, security, and relief efforts.
“Leveraging best practices and enhancing partnerships is critically important as part of preparedness and response efforts before the next major disaster strikes,” said CBP Region IV Lead Field Coordinator Diane J. Sabatino. “As the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, CBP personnel from Florida and around the nation are often called in to action during complex national emergencies and work tirelessly to help those in need.”
CBP identifies 10 Lead Field Coordinators who are geographically dispersed nationwide and fall within the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions. CBP Region IV provides communications and coordination for all assets in Region IV which includes Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands during major disasters and national emergencies.
CBP remains in constant communication with travel and trade stakeholders during emergencies and conducts travel and trade facilitation operations as long as it is safe to do so.
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrews from the Miami Air and Marine Branch, Jacksonville Air and Marine Branch and National Air Security Operations Center – Jacksonville have deployed for a number of complex response and recovery efforts following destructive hurricanes over the last few years in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the Carolinas. Air and Marine Operations transports vital supplies during humanitarian flights and actively supports relief operations and assessments.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations in Florida includes more than 2,500 front-line federal officers, agricultural specialists, trade and mission support personnel securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border and providing travel and trade facilitation. U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) teams from Region IV deploy during major disasters providing specialized expertise, equipment and helping those in need.