Ohio Task Force 1 moves toward Georgia for hurricane relief

Local News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Task Force 1 left from their warehouse in Kettering late last week with Florida as their initial destination. As the storm continues to change its path, they are now moving north towards Georgia.

Hurricane Dorian is making for dangerous conditions as it moves up the coast, causing mass evacuations.

“A couple of the highways are actually both lanes heading in the opposite direction. So they’re kind of working through back roads to get to the location,” Phil Sinewe, public information officer with OTF1, said.

OTF1 and similar groups are designed to be mobile so that they can be repositioned as necessary.  

“These hurricanes are not cooperative little animals. They want to go where they want to go and so it’s not unusual at all for us to move from place to place to place,” Sinewe said.

The team will conduct search and rescue operations and damage assessments.

“As they go down a street they’re able to look at a digital map, an app, and mark out, this house has been destroyed, this house has not been destroyed, this house has victims,” Sinewe said.

A final location isn’t known but Sinewe says they’re well prepared. 

“They’ll probably have a training tonight on the area that they’re in to get a feel for what the land looks like” Sinewe said.

While the deployment is well organized, Mother Nature will decide what each day looks like. 

“This is all about being ahead of the ball so that once the storm hits land and starts to do damage, we’re not playing anymore catch up than we have to,” Sinewe said.

OTF1 is scheduled for a two-week deployment. The impact of the storm will dictate any rotations and how long the team ultimately stays. 

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