California US&R Task Forces Lending a Hand for Harvey had Contact with Katrina

On August 25th, as the northern tentacles of the monstrous Hurricane Harvey breached the Gulf Coastline of Texas, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. approved the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5 (CA-TF5) through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to aid the response to the storm. Within a few hours CA-TF5 was on its way.

The next day, Saturday, Governor Brown approved the additional deployment of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1, 4 and 8 (CA-TF1, 4, 8) at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Then again on Sunday, August 27, the governor approved the additional deployment of specialized components of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2, 3, 6 and 7 (CA-TF2, 3, 6 and 7) through Cal OES.

With that last deployment, each and every one of California’s state/federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces were now assisting, or on their way to assist, with operations in Texas. That activation deployed the Water Rescue Mission Ready Package elements of those four teams. These California specialists in swiftwater and flood rescue have been assisting with emergency operations in and around the hardest hit areas of Texas, conducting search and water rescue operations. The deployment is also coordinated through the FEMA as part of the national response for this incident. All those task force teams have assisted in significant disasters outside of California’s borders. Three of those teams, CA-TF6, 7 and 8 were deployed to the Gulf Coast to assist with response efforts to Hurricane Katrina. Below are images captured during their deployment by the teams themselves.

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All photos contributed by the respective agency.

If you’d like more information about California’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force program, or about those teams involved in both Harvey and Katrina, follow the links below.

Hurricane Harvey Relief US Military Photo


Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces

CA-TF6: Riverside

CA-TF7: Sacramento

CA-TF8: San Diego


Shawn Boyd

Shawn Boyd joined Cal OES as a public information officer in 2014 after a 20-year career in television news as a reporter, anchor and executive producer. He's a Cal State Sacramento alum and former US Navy yeoman and Air Force brat.

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