7/21/2008 12:00 AM
The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) are preparing for the deployment of search and rescue assets due to potential landfall of Tropical Storm Dolly along the Texas coast. Dolly is expected to reach hurricane status before making landfall, which is currently predicted to happen late Wednesday or early Thursday.
The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) has activated a Type-I urban search and rescue task force and 10 water rescue boat squads, which will stage in College Station. The Type-I task force is comprised of 70 personnel trained in specialized search and rescue techniques and each water rescue boat squad is comprised of five personnel trained in swift water and technical rescue.
Additionally, a search and rescue unified command will be established to include an Air/Ground Coordination Center. TX-TF1 will forward deploy six liaison officers to the potential impact area. Texas is taking a proactive approach to this storm and more than 500 responders will be involved in the search and rescue preparations.
A tropical storm of this size can spawn tornadoes and the associated rainfall may cause flash flooding. According to the National Weather Service, this storm has the potential to strengthen into a hurricane.
Citizens of Texas living in the potential impact area should use this time to update the supplies in their hurricane evacuation and disaster kit and make preparations to evacuate if required. Monitor local media and NOAA Weather Radio during severe weather events for any statements and/or warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
The hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30. The peak hurricane season is from mid-August to late October. Since the creation of TX-TF1 in 1997, it has deployed 24 times due to tropical storms or hurricanes – including five times in 2007.
About Texas Task Force
Texas Task Force 1 is sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and is comprised of more than 400 personnel representing over 60 jurisdictions and agencies from across the state of Texas and is one of 28 teams in the national urban search and rescue system under FEMA. Texas Task Force 1 and TEEX coordinate state-wide requests for search and rescue. TEEX and the Task Force are headquartered in College Station.
About the Texas Engineering Extension Service
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized first responder training, homeland security exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. TEEX programs include fire services, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, safety and health, search and rescue, and economic development.