Texas Task Force 1 and Others Learn From Hurricane Dean Response

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As Hurricane Dean pounds Mexico, Texas search and rescue personnel have been ordered to stand down.

Texas Task Force 1 Director Bob McKee said either way team members were ready for the job at hand.

"We were very prepared, thankfully we did not have to call our services into play," McKee said.

More than 200 emergency responders with Texas Task Force 1 and Texas Task Force 2, plus other state rescue teams began their return Wednesday to College Station from San Antonio and Weslaco.

What was the largest coordinated assembly of emergency responders turned into an equal sized demobilization.

It was only a day and a half ago, that McKee and other officials
learned that Texas would be out of harm’s way.

In wake of Hurricane Dean's potential McKee said state authorities thought it was wise not to take a wait and see approach.

They believed it was necessary to bring in a tremendous amount of manpower and equipment in a short time frame.

"It takes so long to spool those things up that if we were to wait to find out for sure it would be too late and people would be killed," McKee said.

The mobilization and deployment, however, were not in vain.

"In this case we had an opportunity to test the state's hurricane plan," McKee said.

Officials on the state and local levels were provided with a documented situation they can evaluate.

It demonstrated a real threat that had to be responded to in real time, with people's lives possibly at stake.

McKee said, at this point, it is too early to assess an estimate of just how much the mobilization and demobilization cost, but the state of Texas and possibly FEMA will be handling expenses.