Task Force One preps for Irma deployment

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana’s Task Force One is heading out to provide relief ahead of Hurricane Irma, less than 24 hours after some of their team members got back from duty in Texas.

Some members of the task force deployed Wednesday afternoon and there’s a chance that more could be following.

The hazmat team is heading down to an Air Force base in Alabama where they’ll stage until Irma hits. At that point, they will have a better idea which areas of the country need relief.

Tuesday night, Task Force One worker Patrick Carmean rolled in from almost two weeks of deployment in Texas following Harvey. By Wednesday afternoon, he was prepping to head back south ahead of Irma.

“When we were down in Texas, it was give and take on sleep,” said Carmean, “but on the way home we had a good hotel on the way back, and last night got to sleep in our beds so we’re ready to go.”

His hazmat team is charged up and ready to go, but until Irma makes landfall in the U.S. it is not clear where they’ll be operating.

“This gives us an opportunity to touch a bigger piece of America you know, and help everyone,” said Carmean.

Task Force One Manager Jay Settergren said this isn’t the first time the team has made deployments with little or no time in between. The last time was also in Texas, back in 2008 for Hurricane Gustav.

“We’ve done it in the past and we understand how that works,” said Settergren, “and basically how to get ourselves rehabbed as quickly as possible to go back out and get to work.”

Boats, generators, and hazmat suits all had to be turned around and ready to go in just hours.

Elsewhere in Indianapolis, the relief efforts continued as well. Supplies were put on standby at the local Greyhound bus station for their delivery to Houston.

Across town, volunteers furiously filled purses destined for those who need help.

Chelsea Marburger’s non-profit, Project Purse Indianapolis, continued to stuff purses with toiletries for women in need. The current batch is heading to Texas in the coming days.

The remainder of Task Force One will continue to be on standby. If the call comes, they will have four hours to load up and head out and they say they will be ready.