Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) and its sponsoring agency, the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), are preparing for the mobilization and deployment of search and rescue assets due to a potential landfall of Hurricane Gustav.
Early estimates indicate Gustav will make landfall along the Gulf Coast sometime early next week. Although the storm is days away, the state of Texas and the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) are taking a very proactive approach in planning for Gustav.
If the storm does not threaten Texas, TX-TF1 could be deployed to other states as one of 28 teams in the FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue System.
TX-TF1 is working in conjunction with other state agencies to make preparations and to organize deployment of search and rescue assets.
In addition, TEEX’s Public Works Response Team, another of the GDEM's assets, is preparing to assist in restoring damaged critical infrastructure to requesting jurisdictions.
Along with the winds associated with a hurricane, a storm of this size can spawn tornados and the associated rainfall could cause flash flooding. 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. Visit www.ready.gov for a complete list of supplies and procedures. 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 through November 31. The peak hurricane season is mid-August to late-October. Since TX-TF1 was created in 1997, the task force has deployed 26 times due to tropical storms or hurricanes. In 2007, TX-TF1 deployed personnel and equipment five times due to tropical storms or hurricanes.
--About Texas Task Force 1
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.