3/17/2008 12:00 AM
Due to possible severe weather and the potential for tornadoes, the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) has directed Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) to activate a Type I Urban Search and Rescue task force comprised of 80 team members.
The National Weather Service predicts severe weather and possible tornado activity beginning this afternoon along the Interstate 35 corridor from Laredo to the Oklahoma border, moving eastward through tomorrow afternoon.
The task force will mobilize personnel by late this afternoon and will stage both equipment and personnel in College Station, TX.
The Type-1 heavy structural collapse team brings with it a cache of equipment capable of conducting round-the-clock search and rescue operations, as well as swift- and flood-water rescues. TX-TF1 has also assigned two coordinators to the GDEM State Operations Center in Austin. Additional assets deployed for this event include 10 high-profile vehicles from the Texas Military Forces.
In addition to possible tornado activity, the National Weather Service predicts the possibility of flooding. Due to this threat, a total of six TX-TF1 swift water rescue squads have been placed on standby with two squads per city in the Austin, San Antonio, and Ft. Worth.
Texans are reminded to monitor local media or NOAA Weather Radio during severe weather events for any statements and/or warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
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 more than 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 statewide 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.