Pennsylvania To Deploy Team To Puerto Rico To Assist With Hurricane

In light of the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Fiona, two members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 will be deployed to support response operations. 

PENNSYLVANIA STATE | On Sunday, September 19, Governor Tom Wolf announced that two members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PATF-1) Urban Search & Rescue will be deployed to Puerto Rico, serving with a federal Incident Support Team, to support response operations. 

“Parts of Puerto Rico could get more than a foot of rain with this storm, and many people there are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria nearly five years ago,” said Gov. Wolf. “We will work with our federal partners to closely monitor conditions on the island and provide whatever support we can to the people there.”

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. The two members of PATF-1 Urban Search & Rescue who are being deployed are prepared to remain in Puerto Rico for up to two weeks.

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.