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Oregon fire marshal sends team, Red Cross volunteers head to Florida to help as Hurricane Ian hits

(Update: Adding video; two C. Oregon Red Cross volunteers on standby)

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is sending help to Florida to assist with the response to Hurricane Ian. On Wednesday, 13 team members from the OSFM’s three incident management teams are leaving Oregon to work in Florida for up to 14 days.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management requested aid through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), administered by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management. The OSFM immediately went to work to fulfill the request.

The team is led by Incident Commanders Ted Kunze and Ian Yocum. Specific work sites for the team will be determined as they travel and as Hurricane Ian continues to push across Florida. They’ll be working in communities impacted by the storm.

“We are thankful to the Oregon fire service and our all-hazard IMTs for answering the call to help Floridians,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “I want to extend a thank you to the team members, their families, and the Oregon fire service for supporting this mission. Our IMT members train year-round to be prepared to assist in any kind of emergency or disaster, including hurricanes. Our office stands ready to help protect lives and communities. We are keeping those in Florida impacted by this storm in our thoughts.”

ABOUT THE OSFM IMT PROGRAM

The OSFM administers three all-hazard incident management teams, primarily made of members of the Oregon structural fire service. 

The OSFM all-hazard IMTs offer a wide range of emergency support services to develop plans to safely respond to and improve the lives of those impacted by the incident. The teams work to effectively coordinate with responding agencies to provide structure, support, and oversight during emergencies.  They specialize in safety, public information and community engagement, operations, plan development, logistics, and communications. 

The teams primarily mobilize to wildfires that threaten lives, homes, and critical infrastructure. This summer the OSFM’s three IMTs supported five wildfire conflagrations across Oregon. Learn more about OSFM’s IMTs here.


Local Red Cross Volunteers Depart for Florida Ahead of Hurricane Ian
American Red Cross - Cascades Region 

Nearly Two Dozen Volunteers from Oregon and Southwest WA Deploy to Florida or are on Standby To

Portland, Ore (September 27, 2022) - Trained disaster volunteers from the American Red Cross Cascades Region are headed to Florida in advance of hurricane Ian. Experts predict Florida could see as much as 15 inches of rain throughout this week which, combined with a dangerous storm surge, may trigger flooding across the state. 

The Red Cross is monitoring the situation closely and working with our partners to shelter and support people who could be impacted by this storm. Hundreds of trained disaster workers are being deployed to Florida and more relief supplies are on the way to support people in the path of Hurricane Ian. Seven volunteers from Oregon are either in Florida or on their way. Another 14 volunteers, including some from SW Washington, are on standby, ready to respond if needed. 

The Red Cross is working with local officials and preparing to open hurricane evacuation shelters if requested. We help anyone in need after a disaster, and everyone is welcome in our shelters. 

How can you help?
Help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The disaster recovery effort continues in Puerto Rico. More than 270 American Red Cross disaster workers, many with no power or water themselves, are working around the clock with our partners to provide comfort and support. The Red Cross also is deploying disaster teams by plane to rural areas of Alaska where Typhoon Merbok devastated a thousand-mile stretch of the western coast last weekend, damaging homes, seawalls, roads and airport runways as well as water systems in as many as 40 towns and villages.

The Disaster Action Team needs you
These specialized volunteers provide emotional support, access to financial assistance, and valuable information to help families begin to recover. They offer immediate compassion and care when it is needed most. Additional Disaster Action Team volunteers are needed in Nevada and nationwide to ensure that there is always someone ready to answer the call when a disaster strikes. The Red Cross provides training and support. Learn more: redcross.org/volunteer.

Download our free apps
The Red Cross Emergency app can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations, and safety advice. The Red Cross First Aid app provides instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these free apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or visit redcross.org/apps.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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