Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in August 2017 presented the biggest challenge yet for the Texas National Guard (TXNG), but its timely response coupled with the right tools and manpower led it to respond effectively.
While the Texas Task Force One Helicopter Search and Rescue (HSAR) played a huge role, an amphibious search-and-rescue XTV should be useful as well in cases of flooding after a storm.
Key Response Tactics
Colonel Win Burkett said that TXNG implemented its State Emergency Action Plan a few days before Harvey hit the country on Aug. 25. Burkett added that they anticipated heavy flooding and wind after the hurricane escalated to a Category Four hurricane in less than 24 hours.
The team required SAR-trained people and aircraft like the Texas Task Force HSAR. Brett Dixon, the program’s manager, said that the group is among 22 SAR teams in the U.S. with trained swimmers for helicopter rescue missions. It served a key addition to the overall response team in the state, which comprised more than 1,300 people and 60 aircraft.
With the help of other states, the TXNG performed 371 hoist rescue missions and relocated more than 2,000 people, according to Burkett. Now, the Texas General Land Office has submitted a $2.7 billion post-hurricane state action plan for recovery efforts.
The GLO would need the Housing and Urban Development’s approval to use and distribute the money in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery for different communities, which still suffer from the consequences of the storm.
It has been several months since Harvey made landfall in Texas, but the storm’s impact continues to be felt in some regions. SAR teams should consider all heavy-duty vehicle options when responding to a natural disaster. In cases of flooding, it’s important to have a vehicle that can easily transport people and resources from water to land.