To support response operations, 45 members and support personnel from Pennsylvania Task Force 1 will be deployed in South Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE | On Wednesday, September 28, Governor Tom Wolf announced that 45 members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PATF-1) Urban Search & Rescue will be deployed to South Carolina. The team will serve with a federal Incident Support Team, that will work with Florida emergency management and response personnel, to augment operations. They are expected to touch down later today.
“Millions of people in the southeastern United States will have a long road ahead of them in terms of response and recovery,” said Gov. Wolf. “We are in close contact with emergency management partners in those states and will remain ready and willing to assist however they need us in the weeks and months ahead.”
Two of the members of PATF-1, who deployed to Puerto Rico ahead of Hurricane Fiona (LEARN MORE HERE), were reassigned to Florida in advance of Hurricane Ian. Hurricane Ian is unlikely to bring significant storm conditions to Pennsylvania at this time, although rain from the system could arrive across southern parts of the state over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Residents are encouraged to stay alert, as forecasts can change as the system gets closer over the next few days.
PATF-1 is one of 28 teams that are part of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System and is a federal resource that can quickly be mobilized to deploy to incidents anywhere in the country. According to FEMA, The National Urban Search & Rescue Response System is a framework for organizing federal, state, and local partner emergency response teams as integrated federal disaster response task forces. The system’s 28 US&R task forces can be deployed by FEMA to a disaster area to assist in structural collapse rescue, or they may be pre-positioned when a major disaster threatens a community.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is also monitoring the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) system for requests for assistance. EMAC is a formal agreement that allows all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, to share resources, such as personnel or equipment, during disasters. The requesting state pays all costs associated with an EMAC deployment.