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USAR Response to Hurricane Sandy

November 1, 2012 – As of October 31, nine federal Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) task forces - largely made up of IAFF members - are supporting local search and rescue operations in New York and New Jersey in response to Hurricane Sandy. An additional six teams are on alert if needed.

The current activated and operating teams include:

• Maryland-TF1 and Massachusetts-TF1 in Queens, NY
• Virginia-TF2 en route to Staten Island, NY
• Missouri-TF1 in Flushing, NY
• Indiana-TF1, Pennsylvania-TF1 and Tennessee-TF1 operating in Nassau County, NY
• Virginia-TF1 and Ohio-TF1 are staged at Joint Base McGuire-Dix, Lakehurst, NJ

In addition, Arizona-FF1, California-TF6, Florida-TF2, Colorado-TF1, California-TF2 and Washington TF1 have been placed on alert.
More than 2,200 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel are working to support response operations, including search and rescue, situational awareness, communications and logistical support. Community relations teams are on the ground in the hardest hit areas of the Mid-Atlantic going door-to-door to inform disaster survivors about available services and resources.

Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and teams are located in storm-affected states to provide secure and non-secure voice, video, information services, operations and logistics support to response efforts in affected states. Fourteen Incident Management Assistance Teams and 12 liaison officers, positioned in affected states before the storm, continue to support response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.

More than 500 personnel from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are deployed for storm response efforts, as well, including nine Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from eight states and a team of U.S. Public Health Service officers who are providing care at medical shelters in the New York City area. Health and Human Services is setting up two federal medical stations to augment these shelters. Two additional Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and four federal medical stations are en route to New York, and one is deployed to provide care in two New Jersey shelters. In addition, approximately 350 ambulances have been deployed with five liaison officers and two pharmacists through the National Ambulance Contract.

For more information on the federal response to Hurricane Sandy, click here


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