NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Task forces loaded with experts, utility crews, and humanitarian agencies are among the organizations ready to help the victims of Hurricane Ian in their long road to recovery.

When first responders in Florida get overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of damage and number of people in peril – that’s where Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search and Rescue comes in. They have 45 personnel in Florida representing every major department in Hampton Roads – and they’re used to coming to the rescue after major disasters.

“It looks like this one is gonna have pretty significant wind and storm surge damage, especially in the low-lying areas in the west coast of Florida,” said Brian Sullivan, task force leader and a battalion chief with Virginia Beach Fire Department. “We’ve dealt with some of that before but this is definitely a big storm and there’s gonna be a lot of impact.”

The task force specializes in urban search and rescue with cameras and listening devices, and engineers to evaluate bridges, dams and structures.

“They’re trained in operating boats in flood waters and swift-moving water to get into those areas and rescue and evacuate people, and then we have some hazardous materials specialists that can evaluate some of the hazards that may be in the flood waters,” Sullivan said.

The task force and its 13-vehicle convoy are standing by, waiting to see where Hurricane Ian will have done the most damage. It’s among five special teams in the region that are coordinated by FEMA.

“We’re capable of going anywhere they need us. We’re assigned to the state of Florida, so anywhere in the state, we’re ready to go,” Sullivan said.

In an update on Thursday, VATF2 said they are sending additional personnel to meet up with the rest of the team in Punta Gorda.

In addition, Dominion Energy expects to send crews to South Carolina to help with outages there, and they could be deployed to Florida depending on the extent of the damage, according to spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris.

Operation Blessing says it has teams headed to Florida with disaster supplies and equipment to help those hardest hit.