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Natural disasters nationwide keep members of Utah Task Force One busy this summer

Aug 31, 2023, 7:40 AM | Updated: 7:47 am

ORLANDO, Fla. — Members of Utah Task Force One have been busy this summer helping with natural disasters from Hawaii to Florida.

Task force member Jennifer Bevan, who is also a captain with the Unified Fire Authority, was deployed to Orlando on Tuesday as part of the FEMA Red incident support team in preparation for Hurricane Idalia.

On Wednesday, Hurricane Idalia made landfall along Florida’s west coast as a major category 3 storm, bringing catastrophic storm surge and destructive winds. It is something Bevan and her team are monitoring very closely.

“They are surveying the damage that has already been done and figuring out where help is needed, and where it’s likely to be requested next,” Bevan said. “The storm is still moving through so it’s not completely over yet.”

Bevan is currently helping direct teams from around the country to the hardest-hit areas.

“We have 70 people with 10 additional as ground support, so they are moving equipment and people,” she said.

So far team members are staged in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, where flooding from storm surge is expected to impact those areas.

Her deployment comes the same day other members of Utah Task Force One flew back from Maui, where they helped with recovering remains in Lahaina.

“We are just trying to bring some closure to the people in Hawaii,” she said.

Bevan said she was proud to be part of a team that makes a difference.

“To come out and go on these nationwide deployments and be able to help people get through their hardest situations,” she said.

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Natural disasters nationwide keep members of Utah Task Force One busy this summer