Ohio Task Force 1 is preparing to possibly be deployed to help at the collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida, according to an announcement the task force posted to social media Thursday night.
In a Facebook post, the task force said FEMA placed the team on official “alert,” an official notification to make final preparations to respond. The alert is part of formal procedures that the task force uses for all deployments, it said.
The Associated Press reported that a wing of the 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed early Thursday, killing at least one person and trapping others. Rescuers are in the process of looking for survivors, but authorities said nearly 100 are still unaccounted for and it is unknown how many people were in the tower when it fell.
The task force is currently taking logistical steps to prepare, such as team rostering, loading equipment in vehicles and ensuring the team members meet specific health standards.
It also said it continually maintains the equipment and training to prepare for responses, including keeping equipment caches ready for loading.
Most of the loading will take place overnight by a small staff, the announcement said, while the rest of the team makes personal preparations for deployment and await final orders.