In a sign of the times, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has bought nearly 5,000 new commercial trucks and cargo containers for use in responding to the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy disaster.
The Federal Reserve’s purchase of 5,400 new commercial vehicles, including 696 trailers, is the largest in the agency’s fleet since the disaster, the agency announced Wednesday.
“The trucks were purchased as a result of an acquisition of commercial vehicles during the storm and in response to the impact of the storm on the infrastructure and people of New York City,” the agency said in a statement.
“The trucks will be used to deliver supplies to our storm-affected communities, assist in the recovery efforts, and provide critical support for public safety and relief efforts.”
The new trucks will also be used by FEMA in the effort to repair damaged and inaccessible roads, and in the delivery of emergency relief to people and structures in New York.
The agency said the trucks will operate in both daylight and nighttime conditions, and are expected to operate during peak demand periods.
“These trucks will provide critical services to New York communities during and after the storm, including responding to power outages and restoring roads, power, water, sewage, and telecommunications systems,” the FEMA statement said.
“Their use will also assist in maintaining the infrastructure needed to sustain life during the recovery and rebuilding process.”
The trucks are being used by the Federal Railroad Administration to assist with repairs to the New York Central Railroad after the train was shut down by the storm.
FEMA said the purchase will also help it to better serve areas affected by the flooding and landslides that swept through New York and New Jersey, as well as other areas affected during the hurricane.
“The new fleet of commercial trucks will augment the FRA’s already significant capabilities and provide important support to the recovery, rebuilding, and restoration efforts underway in New Jersey and New York,” FEMA said.
In addition to providing critical assistance to communities impacted by the Sandy storm, the trucks are also being used to assist in responding during high demand periods like the Super Bowl, when trucks can handle the demand for shipping and trucking goods.
The trucks’ use in the storm response has been a key factor in the Federal government’s efforts to boost the recovery effort and support local businesses, as the government has spent $20 billion on emergency response assistance in the wake of the disaster.