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Governor Huntsman and State Agencies/Officials Respond to Hurricane Relief

News Release
August 31, 2005

Salt Lake City, Utah*At the request of the State of Louisiana, Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. has made arrangements to provide assistance in the form of personnel and supplies. In addition, Governor Huntsman has extended the possibility of housing up to 1,000 hurricane victims immediately for an undetermined amount of time ranging from weeks to months.

General Bruce Frandsen with the Utah National Guard is prepared to deploy 200 to 250 soldiers and airmen from Utah. In addition, two KC 135s could be deployed in the next 24 hours, one possibly as early as this evening.

Dr. David Sundwall, Executive Director of the Department of Health is prepared to receive the hurricane victims and provide health screenings and meet any immediate medical needs upon their arrival in Utah.

Verdi White, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Services with the Department of Public Safety is coordinating with all agencies to help ensure a smooth transition and to deploy troopers for security in the effected states as necessary.

Pamela Atkinson is working with numerous volunteer and community services to prepare for the victims and create an acceptable quality of life. "Utah is so well known for its volunteer and community services, I think we will be overwhelmed with donations and volunteers," said Atkinson. "We will have no problem rising to the challenge of helping these people in need."

"Utah was one of four states (including Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma) asked of assistance. That says something good about our state and our citizens," said Governor Huntsman. "The selection of those chosen to come to Utah is undetermined at this point, but we are a willing recipient."

First and foremost, people can help by donating money to the Red Cross. In addition, as of 8:00 a.m., Thursday, September 1, 2005, people may call 1-866-873-2437 (a toll free number through the Department of Health) to volunteer time, resources, and professional assistance and obtain any additional information on volunteer opportunities.

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