With Hurricane Ike presenting an imminent threat to the Gulf Coast, the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) has authorized Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) to activate and plan for forward deployment ahead of the storm.
TX-TF1 will arrive at its headquarters in College Station Tuesday morning and begin preparations to pre-stage at strategic locations, which the state will determine according to the forecasted track of the storm. Ike is predicted to make landfall as a category-3 or category-4 hurricane Saturday in a wide area ranging from South Texas to Alabama.
The following search and rescue assets are being deployed:
- TX-TF1 Type-I structural urban search and rescue team
- TX-TF1 Type-III hurricane/wide-area flood urban search and rescue team
- TX-TF2 (Dallas-based) Type-III hurricane/wide-area flood urban search and rescue team
- 10 water rescue teams
- 8 TX-TF1 helicopter rescue specialists to work aboard Texas Military Forces Blackhawk helicopters
- Numerous liaisons to assist at the State Operations Center in Austin and Disaster District Chairs and counties along the Texas coast
In addition to readying search and rescue assets, the Texas Engineering Extensions Service’s Public Works Response Team (PWRT) is preparing to assist local jurisdictions with restoring critical infrastructure following the storm. The PWRT will also have representatives at the State Operations Center.
In the last six weeks, TX-TF1 has deployed four times: Hurricane Dolly, Tropical Storm Edouard, the flooding in Wichita County and, most recently, Hurricane Gustav.
This marks the 13th deployment for TX-TF1 in 2008. In 2007, TX-TF1 deployed 15 times — more than any year since its inception in 1997.
Photo/Interview Opportunity: Media wishing to cover the TX-TF1’s arrival in College Station Tuesday morning should contact Chuck Glenewinkel or Jay Socol to set up an appointment.