For media planning purposes only: Media interested in covering the Port Authority emergency response teams preparing for their departure should report to the Port Authority Technical Center, 241 Erie St. in Jersey City, at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The Port Authority will send two teams of emergency responders to Gulf Coast states on Sunday, September 4, to help re-establish vital communications links in the region ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
“The Port Authority has some of the best emergency management personnel in the nation who helped the New York-New Jersey region recover from the tragic events of 9/11,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “Governors Pataki and Codey clearly understand our desire to help these states, and we were pleased to answer a call from the New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness for help. We believe this initial deployment of Port Authority staff will be well received by the areas most affected by this terrible natural disaster.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said the Port Authority will send two teams of personnel to the New Orleans region. Each team will consist of three Office of Emergency Management personnel and a technician from Unisys, the Port Authority’s technology services contract firm.
“These teams of highly trained individuals will allow us to provide immediate assistance where it is needed most – to help re-establish vital communications in the affected areas,” Mr. Ringler said. “We will continue to offer the technical assistance of our very talented Port Authority staff as needed.” The two teams will take with them two specially equipped Suburban vehicles. Port Authority Director of Public Safety/Superintendent of Police Samuel Plumeri Jr., who oversees the agency’s Office of Emergency Management, said, “Nearly four years ago, emergency responders from all over the country, including the Gulf Coast states, came to New York to help us recover from the tragic events of 9/11. This is our opportunity to return the favor and to provide vital assistance to areas that were devastated by this hurricane.”
The Port Authority also is continuing to serve as a conduit for financial contributions from staff for the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. The agency also will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the governors’ offices in the three Gulf Coast states to determine the long-term needs for staff expertise, equipment and material in rebuilding that region’s transportation infrastructure. The Port Authority, which operates world-class transportation facilities, has committed to provide engineering, architectural and operations staff as needed to assist with the long-term rebuilding process.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.