HIES has vast experience in emergency response and disaster support in contaminated areas. Similar to the Japan Tsunami and Earthquake crisis, HIES personnel were involved in disaster support during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that engulfed New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Unlike a devastating tsunami that moved whole towns in minutes, the Hurricane broke the main water support levy and flooded the city under more than 15 feet of water. The most devastating effects of the floods were actually after the flood waters receded and the contamination from POLs, chemicals, and biohazards were evident everywhere. As with the tsunami, roads and streets were inaccessible and communication was cut off. All available companies trained in hazardous work conditions were deployed to help with the disaster and HIES staff assisted with project management, sampling, assessment, and various other emergency response tasks. HIES’s experience with this hurricane disaster guides us to better understand the short and long term tasks necessary to get the affected areas back to conditions where people can safely work and sustain a healthy environment. To bring normality back to these regions, contamination of all hazards should be identified, documented, and properly remediated.
HIES has also been on large emergency response contracts and on emergency teams as first responders to hazardous materials emergencies for over 17 years. Under US and Japanese environmental regulations and laws, HIES understands the importance of protective equipment and proper response personnel training to provide safety for both the public and the workers. Whether for nuclear, toxic gas, dangerous chemicals, or confined space operations, HIES has such protective equipment and trained personnel for hazardous material disaster relief.
HIES’s specialty is in toxic substance and waste pollution counter measures, including working within radioactive contamination zones such as the outskirts of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. HIES also conducts monitoring and testing of soils, water quality, and atmosphere, which can be performed safely and accurately with proper training and through trained personnel.