MIAMI— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale worked to organize and transport hundreds of pounds of clothing items and more than a dozen generators for delivery to the Bahamas last week. A far-reaching international network of response organizations continue to support recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
Ten pallets of donated clothing items previously seized included a mix of shirts, undergarments, hats, visors and sunglasses.
“The people of the Bahamas are resilient and are working hard to rebuild their lives,” said CBP’s Region IV Lead Field Coordinator and Miami/Tampa Field Office Director of Field Operations Diane J. Sabatino. “It’s an honor and privilege to find a way to provide clothing and generators as part of recovery efforts."
“Items that likely would have been forfeited, slated for auction or destroyed as part of a final disposition are now going to help those in need,” said Miami International Airport Port Director Christopher D. Maston “CBP takes tremendous pride in developing partnerships and finding extraordinary ways to provide assistance.”
CBP’s Miami/Tampa Field Office teams also coordinated a large donation of apparel items—more than 2300 pairs of shoes and approximately 1,950 clothing items following the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti during 2016.
CBP has worked extensively with federal partners supporting wide-ranging Hurricane Dorian response efforts in the Bahamas.
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrews deployed to impacted areas in the Bahamas airlifting over 150 Bahamian and U.S. citizens to hospitals or local shelters in Nassau, Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. Crews transported vital supplies during humanitarian flights and actively supported relief operations and assessments. CBP processed over 4,000 evacuees from the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian.
“Customs and Border Protection has seen first-hand the resiliency and extraordinary spirit of the Bahamian people,” said Sabatino. “CBP is pleased that we could help our neighbors in the Bahamas recover from this destructive hurricane with humanitarian missions and initially airlifting injured and stranded survivors to safety.”
CBP is on the frontline when a disaster strikes with teams of highly-trained personnel providing unique capabilities as part of a whole-of-government approach. CBP officers and agents join local, state, and federal agency partners during natural disasters and subsequent rescue and relief efforts in maintaining an emergency operations center—supporting aerial and urban search and rescue, advanced first aid and recovery assessments.
CBP Region IV provides communications and coordination for all CBP surface, land and air assets in Region IV which includes Georgia, Florida, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands during major disasters and national emergencies.
During an emergency, CBP’s emergency response is conducted in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Response Framework. 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 Office of Field Operations in Florida includes more than 2,700 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.
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