PEMA Sends Search And Rescue Team Ahead Of Hurricane Michael

Two waves of members from PA Task Force 1 are in Montgomery, Alabama

Shelby Cassesse
October 10, 2018 - 1:21 pm

© Joel Burgess/Asheville Citizen-Times


PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is deploying more personnel to Montgomery, Alabama to assist with search and rescue during Hurricane Michael.

Forty-five members of PA Task Force 1 were deployed Tuesday evening as a Type 3 Urban Search and Rescue Team, but another 35 members were called early Wednesday morning, according to PEMA Deputy Director for Response Randy Padfield.

"That was a recent change as of earlier this morning. It's most likely because of the strengthen of the storm as it's approaching landfall." 

PA Task Force 1 is one of more than two dozen federal urban search and rescue teams overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

Padfield says the team is awaiting specific mission instruction and is in the pre-planning phase. 

"They'll be taking a look at tidal inundation modeling, and they'll take a look at where the target areas happen to be. They'll take a look at targeted search areas. They're taking a look at critical infrastructure, things where people may not have been evacuated or may not have had a chance to evacuate. They're really going to be the high-profile targets they're going to take a look at."

From there, the team will determine how to get to these places if search and rescue is needed, as the roadways are often flooded. There is no set length of time the deployment will last.