California Sends Three Additional Urban Search and Rescue, Water Rescue Teams to the Atlantic Coast to Support Hurricane Florence Response

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has approved the additional deployment of three Swift-water/Flood Rescue elements from California’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). These resources and personnel will aid in response and search and rescue operations during Hurricane Florence, headed for the Eastern Seaboard.

The deployment includes portions of Task Force 4 (CA-TF4),Oakland Fire Department; Task Force 5 (CA-TF5), Orange County Fire Authority; and Task Force 7 (CA-TF7), Sacramento Fire Department. All three teams of personnel are heading to a staging area in Raleigh, North Carolina.

This is in addition to the five state/national US&R assets that were already deployed for Hurricane Florence last night. This is the fourth major activation of California US&R resources in support of FEMA, in recent weeks.

During this deployment to the mid-Atlantic Coast states, California personnel will use their highly-developed and specialized skills to assist emergency operations in and around the hardest hit areas based on priorities and direction of state and local officials to assist with search and rescue operations.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, forecasts Hurricane Florence to make landfall in the Carolinas as a very strong Category 4 hurricane.

These teams are part of the network of eight State/Federal US&R Task Forces based in California. They are highly-specialized search and rescue teams that can operate in structural collapse situations, handle heavy rigging, specialized search functions and operate in swiftwater and flood disaster environments.

California continues to have at the ready 12 additional State/Regional US&R Task Forces should they be needed for in-State emergencies.

Since 1992, California-based State/National US&R Task Forces have been deployed to a long list of other state, national, and even international disasters including 2017’s Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, 1992 Hurricane Iniki (Hawaii), the 1994 Northridge Earthquake1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami catastrophe, several hurricanes, last year’s earthquake disaster near Mexico City, and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake.

For more information follow this link: Cal OES Special Operations

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