FEMA personnel stage in CSRA ahead of Hurricane Dorian

FEMA personnel stage in CSRA ahead of Hurricane Dorian

FORT GORDON, GA (WFXG) - Cots, K9s and crews are on Fort Gordon. More than 200 FEMA employees - from across the U.S. - have their eyes on North and South Carolina right now.

“We respond to any kind of natural disasters. We’ve gone from anywhere to the Salt Lake Olympics, to 9-1-1 at the pentagon to multiple hurricanes. Tornadoes in Oklahoma,” said Tennessee Task Force-1 leader Kirk Lock.

Lock, who is based out of Memphis, said his team of 80 just got to the CSRA from Orlando. They have hazmat crews, search and rescue, boats and more. He said they’re monitoring the weather and ready to respond to the Carolinas at a moment’s notice.

“We do extensive training with FEMA. They’re very strict on how we train across the entire system so we have the same capabilities," said Massachusetts Search and Rescue logistics member Jay Bourgeois.

They rely on that training, equipment and experience to get through challenges. Six canine counterparts along for this mission train to detect what their handlers can’t.

Tennessee Task Force-1 K9 Coordinator Deborah Burnette said, “If you’re so deep, they’re not going to hear you.they’re not going to hear you banging, they’re not going to hear you yelling out. But the dog can find you very, very fast.”

Once deployed, they’re in it for the long haul with enough supplies to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.

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