Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Operational Plan For The Recovery Of Disinterred Casketed Remains

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) will assist state and parish coroners with personnel to provide technical expertise and oversight for recovery, documentation, and identification of human remains disinterred as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This assistance is made possible through an official request made yesterday (Oct. 11) by the State of Louisiana.

Parish coroners will coordinate with state and federal teams to identify disinterred human remains that have been displaced by floodwaters. The teams will document the location and other information that may lead to the identification of the remains, whether casketed, vaulted or otherwise.

If necessary, the remains will be transported to a specific location within each parish, where further exterior examinations of caskets or vaults will be made to attempt to identify the disinterred. Any additional unidentified disinterred remains will be transported to the operational morgue located in St. Gabriel, La. for identification purposes. Re-casketing and re-internment of locally identified human remains is the responsibility of the local parish.

The NDMS supplements state and local medical resources during disasters or major emergencies. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) calls upon DMORT to provide expertise and portable disaster morgues at the site of a disaster.

FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.


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