Standby Task Force is deploying for Hurricane Harvey rescue and response efforts

We have been activated to support a First Responder Agency with rescue assets to collect information for Search and Rescue efforts as well as Pollution Response data including spill events that lead to contamination.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast of the United States as a Category 4 storm around 9:45pm local time (US Central Time Zone / -5 UTC) Friday night August 25th. Residents of the state of Texas are experiencing the most powerful storm in 56 years. While the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm, it is moving slowly across Texas turning into a “deadly inland event” (CNN). Residents are now fearing tornadoes, torrential downpours and flooding as rivers continue to rise.

Shortly after Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 70 mph, Saturday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters that he couldn’t confirm any fatalities. The state had more than 1,000 workers involved in search and rescue operations.

“There’s been widespread devastation,” Rockport Mayor Charles Wax told CNN late Saturday morning. No deaths had been confirmed, he said, noting that emergency workers were just beginning to go house to house to check on residents and assess damage.

“We’ve already taken a severe blow from the storm, but we’re anticipating another one when the flooding comes,” he said. (CNN)

To collect Search and Rescue (SAR) data, we will be collecting geographic location, nature of distress and actionable information that can be passed on to response agencies associated with our activator.

To collect Pollution data, we will also be collecting geographic location, type of event, estimated amount/scope of impact and other relevant information. This will also be passed on to the incident command structure who can use our information to decide how to respond.

We will soon have a Slack Channel dedicated for the purposes of this deployment, and it would be great if you could join us there! If you are an SBTF member who isn’t in our Slack Channels, you can sign up here. It’s easy!

If you aren’t an SBTF volunteer, well, why don’t you join us? You can start by signing up here.



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