At approximately 5:00pm EST on October 28th, three Albany, New York based Search Teams trained by the Search Dog Foundation—Greg Gould & Kura, John Stewart & Lani and Jason Geary & Marsi—were called out by New York Task Force 2 to prepare for deployment to Superstorm Sandy. They met the other members of the Task Force on Long Island, where they prepped their gear and made plans for deployment.
As Hurricane Sandy pounds the Eastern seaboard with winds of up to 90 miles an hour, the teams are at a staging area in Long Island, readying equipment and discussing potential search strategies so they can respond as efficiently as possible. If deployed, their job will be to find people trapped in structures destroyed during the massive storm.
This morning, NY Task Force 2 joined crews from Suffolk County Urban Search and Rescue making water rescues in three towns in Suffolk County. Using boats and jet skis to reach stranded households, the Task Force helped bring 70 people and 13 animals to safety.
The Task Force is now in Nassau County where there have been multiple reports of missing persons. They plan to begin conducting building searches and structural evaluations at daybreak. Kura, Lani and Marsi are with their handlers, but haven't been needed yet. We're anticipating that they'll be part of the building searches on Wednesday. Ten other SDF Search Teams (based in Los Angeles and Florida) are also on alert, prepared to deploy if they are called out by their Task Forces.
Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones, and the communities devastated by the storms. Superstorm Sandy is a poignant reminder that disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. We're grateful for your support, which enabled highly skilled SDF Search Teams to help with the rescue efforts.