3 SDF Search Teams deploy to the East Coast for Hurricane Florence

SDF has several teams deployed to the East Coast for Hurricane Florence from both Florida Task Force 1 and Nebraska Task Force 1. All 28 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) task forces mobilized components in response to Florence as the hurricane was expected to grow to a potential Category 5 - bringing flooding and destruction to much of the Eastern seaboard.

The SDF Search Teams who are currently activated for this incident:


Marshia Hall & Lilah


Steve MacDonald & Lilly

Mark Schroeder & Noah


Marshia Hall & Lilah arrived back in Florida in the afternoon, officially completing SDF’s involvement in the response efforts.

Friday, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

As the evacuation and rescue needs wind down following Florence, task forces have been released from the deployment and are returning home. Several have already made it back to base and our Search Teams Steve MacDonald & Lilly and Mark Schroeder & Noah will be arriving back in Nebraska shortly.

In the meantime, Florida Task Force 1 continues to help with additional evacuations as they are dealing with the flow of water from North Carolina and additionally from the mountains of South Carolina, according to Marshia Hall. She says that the dogs are not working but they are doing some searches during down time to keep them happy and engaged.

Florence has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, and now to a tropical depression primarily due to slowing wind speed and rains. Today is the first day the rain isn’t pouring and rescues continue. Since Thursday, 23-30 inches of rain has fallen in different parts of North Carolina - the hardest hit state - where 500,000 citizens are without power today and over 100 roads are closed. More than 1,000 mostly water rescues have already been performed. Tragically, 17 people are confirmed dead.

For more coverage of the area:



There have been uplifting stories about rescues in this difficult time. Here is one about a truck driver who saved 64 cats and dogs on a school bus:



Our teams on the East Coast are in place, still waiting for Hurricane Florence to pass after making landfall on September 14. FEMA can assess the area and determine where teams are most needed once Florence passes, Click here to track the storm in real time, and stay up to date on weather conditions in the area.


Three SDF-trained Search Teams are headed to the East Coast ahead of Hurricane Florence. We have also been in touch with the remaining task forces that have SDF teams – for now, everyone else is staying put until we see what the storm does. All 28 FEMA task forces have assets deployed in some capacity – some have deployed a full response, while others are only sending swift water rescue components.

If Florence becomes a Category 5 hurricane in the next 24 hours, as expected, it may dissipate a little before it hits the Carolinas on Friday. There are also several other storms in the Atlantic, behind Florence, so we will continue to monitor the storms and will post updates as we get them.