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"We are proud to lend our expertise to aid the state of New Jersey in their time of need as they work to recover from Hurricane Sandy," said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "Louisiana and DCFS in particular have received assistance from volunteers across the country following Hurricane Isaac and previous storms, so we appreciate the opportunity to give back."
The team, including DCFS' Emergency Preparedness Director Joshua Gill, Colonel Jonathan Ball and Denda Eversull, will remain in New Jersey to provide technical support and advice to officials working in the state's emergency operations center as long as assistance is needed.
In addition, DCFS has a team of more than 40 volunteers ready to deploy to assist in sheltering efforts in New York State if requested.
DCFS also has been contacted by USDA Food and Nutrition Service Regional Administrator Bill Ludwig regarding the organization and structure of Louisiana's recent Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP). The program, which was authorized for Louisiana following Hurricane Isaac, will be used as a model for replication in other states affected by Hurricane Sandy if DSNAP is launched there, and Louisiana is prepared to offer technical expertise and assistance.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is the state agency responsible for Louisiana's ESF-6 mission to provide evacuation support and mass shelter for citizens during disasters. The agency also is responsible for administering federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits as authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture.