Arizona on stand-by to help Hurricane Sandy recovery

October 30, 2012

Arizonans could be heading east, to help with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: FEMA has put the Phoenix Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team on stand-by alert, which means it could be deployed. And, Captain Larry Nunez says the team is on the top of the current rotation. He says there are four functions it can serve: rescue, hazardous materials, canine search, and rescue and medicine.

LARRY NUNEZ: We have the canine rescue search team. They will basically plan out the area, we will have rescue specialists, if there areas where they believe there are hazardous materials, or anything that may harm us in any way, they have a hazardous materials team, and if anybody needed any actual medical care whatsoever, we do have medical specialists within the team.

BRODIE: Nunez says the group, Arizona Task Force One, is waiting for FEMA to pick up the phone.

NUNEZ: At that point, if they call us, we will make appropriate calls to 80 of our members. We’ll accumulate and we’ll be on the road within four hours of that actual phone call. But at this point, again, we are just on stand-by.

BRODIE: Nunez says there are 80 people from the Phoenix Fire Department on this task force team. It was deployed during Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Arizona utilities are waiting to hear if they’ll be sending workers east, to help restore power. APS Spokesman Steven Gotfried says members of the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement have been planning, in case their assistance is needed.

STEVEN GOTFRIED: The help that would be requested would most likely be in terms of linemen, first of all, to help take trees off power lines, restoring power poles, fixing transformers and substations. Secondly would be equipment and supplies.

BRODIE: Gotfried, though, says it could take up to four days for trucks and supplies to drive from Phoenix to New York.

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