Baltimore emergency manager flying to help in Philippines

A top Baltimore emergency manager is flying to the Philippines today to help medical teams after a typhoon killed thousands and displaced more than a half-million people.

C.P. Hsia, director of planning for the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management, will be traveling to one of the most severely impacted areas with a team of contractors to "streamline delivery of medical care and supplies to the region," the mayor's office said.


Hsia is flying this morning to Tokyo, then to Manila, where a Philippine Air Force plane will take him to a disaster area, he said.

"It's going to be a huge challenge even getting here," he said. "I'm excited to get over there and I hope I can help."

The team is being organized by All Hands Emergency Management Consulting and Training Services of Columbia, Md. 

Hsia, a paramedic, has experience in managing complex events and organizing emergency response, the mayor's office said.

"It speaks volumes about the quality of the training of our emergency management staff," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. "We know how to cut through red tape in a time of crisis."

Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines early morning Nov. 8. With wind gusts of up to 195 mp, it's considered the strongest storm on record. Authorities say 2,275 people were killed and 580,000 displaced.

Hsia said his team plans to stay in the Philippines for a week.