South Florida rescue crews ready to help after Sandy

South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team on alert for deployment to Northeast

MIAMI - The South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team remained on alert as it prepared to head to the Northeast to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

The City of Miami-sponsored team was put on alert late Monday.

"Basically, we're not sure exactly what we're going to deal with," said Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll. "From flooding to raging rivers to even the snow."

The team loaded up boats, all-terrain vehicles, generators, food, and medical equipment at the USAR Warehouse on South River Drive in Miami. The team has all the gear, food and water they need to operate for 72 hours.

"No power, there's no food, so we bring all of that equipment," said Carroll.

"We're always hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and right now, (we're) looking forward to getting out there and doing some good work to help some people," said Urban Search and Rescue Lt. Charlie McDermott.

Three of the 80 members of the team, including McDermott, left for Charlotte, N.C., to aid FEMA with recovery efforts. The three men will then drive to where they are needed.

"From South Florida, we're very fortunate. We get the tropical storms and hurricanes all the time, so we're very comfortable, but people in the Northeast don't always get used to this or get exposed to this," said McDermott. "So, between the flooding and some of the damage -- the heavy winds and trees -- that's what we're going to expect."

While McDermott heads straight for the storm, the 80 man task force team in Miami waits for their alert to be activated.

"We are ready for that call to come," said Lt. Carroll.

Six federal task force teams are now in the Northeast. As damage is assessed, it will be determined if more assistance is needed.

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