Oklahomans Gear Up To Help With Hurricane Recovery

Sunday, September 1st 2019, 11:38 pm
By: Erick Payne

Some of Oklahoma's Own are ready to help with rescues and recovery from the rain and wind of Hurricane Dorian.

It's now over the Bahamas, still a category 5 storm, and is slowly moving towards Florida.



Oklahoma firefighters are there, and Red Cross workers from here are on the way.

They're all preparing for for the impact of Dorian along the East Coast.

Oklahoma's Task Force 1 is in Tallahassee -- ready to team up with other first responders and FEMA at the Orange County Convention Center.

"We are deploying as a type three class structure collapse. Urban search and rescue team," Task Force One Leader Brett Smith said.

They'll also be working closely with their Oklahoma City search and rescue counter-parts. They're fully equipped; including rescue dogs Truman, Venus, Phi and "Big T."


Also making their way to the East Coast are scientists with NOAA and the University of Oklahoma.They'll be studying data when Hurricane Dorian hits the U.S. Their goal is to improve wind and deadly storm surge forecasts with hurricanes. Additional research on the resulting building damage could pave the way for the construction of safer buildings on coasts.

And the Oklahoma Red Cross has a team deployed already -- with more on the way.

"People that got there yesterday are preparing shelters with cots and blankets and with snacks and food and water, so when all the evacuees come, they have everything they need to get through the storm," Rene Beezley, the disaster program manager for SC/SE Oklahoma - American Red Cross, said.

The Red Cross says they've already deployed nine people from Oklahoma -- and two emergency response vehicles from Guthrie and McAlester will leave tomorrow.

"As more volunteers get ready and get prepared we will be sending them -- and we will be supporting the operation until it goes into long-term recovery and through long term recovery. So for months to come," Beezley said.