VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — 80 members of Virginia Task Force 2 were activated and are heading to Florida in anticipation of Tropical Storm Idalia, which is expected to turn into a powerful hurricane and pass over parts of the Sunshine State.
Task Force 2 members had six hours to get ready before leaving from the Harry E. Diezel Training Center on South Birdneck Road at 10 p.m.
Another 14 members will support the incident support team, which will stage in Orlando.
Task Force 2 is one of 28 FEMA search-and-rescue teams across the country, and the Virginia Beach Fire Department sponsors the team.
The 80 members, along with four search-and-rescue dogs, will position themselves in Orlando as the storm hits so they can help if, and when, they’re needed.
The drive to Florida will take about 14 hours, and Task Force 2 is prepared to stay in the area for up to two weeks.
The last time the team was deployed was in September 2022 during Hurricane Ian.
“All of our members get a medical check when they come here,” said Task Force 2 leader Craig Brown, “and then they get their personal bags, they drop their personal bags here. They have to be self-sustained, all, for 72 hours, and then what you see over there, they’re getting their radios, cell phones — they’re not allowed to use their personal cell phones.”