SACRAMENTO – As the Gulf Coast prepares for heavy rain and strong winds brought on by Hurricane Idalia, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the deployment of urban search and rescue (US&R) personnel from California to help those in the path of the storm.
Through a mutual aid program coordinated by FEMA, Governor Newsom has instructed his Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to deploy nine members of California’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces to Georgia and Florida.
“When disaster strikes, Americans come together,” said Governor Newsom. “California will support Florida and Georgia as they work to protect citizens from the damage of Hurricane Idalia.”
Three task force members are going to Atlanta, Georgia, with another six to Orlando, Florida.
As the storm is expected to intensify as it makes landfall in Florida, bringing with it flash flooding and urban flooding, evacuation orders have been issued along parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
This deployment follows recent support of Hawaii and Oregon following major wildfires.
Last year, California deployed emergency personnel to Florida during Hurricane Ian. California also sent firefighters, disaster recovery experts and other personnel to Oregon, New Mexico and Montana. In 2021, California sent firefighting equipment and personnel to assist Oregon’s response to the Bootleg Fire.