USAR - Florida Task Force Two

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The Urban Search and Rescue system is tasked with many situations that require the teams to be prepared to respond to a plethora of disasters both natural and man-made. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 provides for the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to establish policies and directives to strengthen the preparedness of the United Sates to prevent and respond to threatened or actual terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies by requiring a national domestic all hazards preparedness goal, establishing mechanisms for improved delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to State and local governments.

The USAR Teams have provided for Hazardous Materials monitoring since its inception to identify hazardous gases that can be encountered during trench and collapse situations. This capability was expanded to allow the Head of FEMA to have a core set of First Responders with the ability to provide for enhanced response capabilities when responding to a terrorist attack. The capabilities have been expanded and now allow for a trained cadre of responders that will enhance the local response to any one of the CBRNE scenarios that have been identified by the National Response Framework and the fifteen National Planning Scenarios:

  • Improvised Nuclear Device
  • Aerosol Anthrax
  • Pandemic Influenza
  • Plague
  • Blister Agent
  • Toxic Industrial Chemicals
  • Nerve Agent
  • Chlorine Tank Explosion
  • Major Earthquake
  • Major Hurricane
  • Radiological Dispersal Device
  • Improvised Explosive Device
  • Food Contamination
  • Foreign Animal Disease
  • Cyber Attack

USAR is Emergency Support Function (ESF) # 9 and as such its primary mission to conduct Search and Rescue Operations, but due to its multidiscipline make-up, each of the 28 Federal Urban Search and Rescue Teams can provide assistance to any of the associated Federal Agencies such the DOD, Department of Energy, FBI, etc.  The USAR Teams have the needed equipment to be fully independent if the need arises and can enhance the response capabilities of local communities.