Hoosiers helping in Hurricane Ian’s wake

Hoosiers are always ready to help, it’s just in our nature. When disaster strikes Hoosiers always step-up and lend a hand, Hurricane Ian is no exception. From linemen to the Indiana National Guard to the Elite Rescue Team of Indiana’s own Task Force 1 have all gone south in hopes of making a difference to fellow Americans in need.

Duke Energy

In advance of the storm, Duke Energy strategically staged more than 10,000 workers – power line technicians, damage assessors and vegetation workers – across Florida. 130 employees and about 280 line workers of these dedicated employees are fellow Hoosiers answering the call for help.

These crews are responding where conditions allow. In many places, crews must wait for the storm to pass before starting restoration. Even then, lingering rains and wind will leave behind significant water and fallen tree damage.

Before power can be restored, crews first must assess the extent of damage – which can sometimes take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed to expedite repairs.

Members of the Indiana Helicopter Rescue Team (image: IN National Guard)

Crews will restore power, where possible, while completing damage assessment.

As restoration begins, workers may not be visible in each impacted neighborhood, as the first priority is to repair large power lines and other infrastructure that will return power to the greatest number of customers as quickly and safely as possible.

Indiana National Guard

Members of the Indiana National Guard are in Florida to assist with recovery from the devastating Hurricane Ian. 

Lt. Col. Scott Oden is the Indiana National Guard’s director of aviation and safety. He said in a statement that the 38th Infantry Division’s aviation brigade is sending over a dozen soldiers, three flight crews and mechanics and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Tampa, Florida. These teams will help with logistics and reconnaissance efforts. 

Once on the ground, the Indiana team is part of a broader recovery effort coordinated between military and civilian authorities. 

Indiana Task Force 1

IN Task Force 1 fuels up in Alabama on route to Florida (image: @IN_Task_Force_1-Twitter)

Indiana Task Force One (IN-TF1) is one of 28 highly trained Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-sponsored Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams in the United States. The Task Force, in existence since 1992, has grown into an elite team capable of deploying anywhere in the continental United States with excellent equipment and highly trained search and rescue personnel. In its 30-year history, IN-TF1 has seen operational deployments nationally to Oklahoma City in 1995; the World Trade Center 2001; most recently to Surfside, Florida for the Champlain Tower Collapse and Mayfield, Kentucky at the collapse of the Mayfield Consumer Products facility in 2021.

More than 40 members of Indiana’s finest were activate at 7 am September 27th and were on the road by 10 am. These guys/gals don’t mess around, when the call comes out – it’s straight to business.

Task Force 1 was staged in Lake City, FL and will respond as needed anywhere in the state.

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