Arizona task force deploys to North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Well before the sun was up this morning, a special task force deployed from Phoenix and started their roughly 36-hour drive to Raleigh, North Carolina in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.

"We are coming with a full deployment of equipment and about 45 personnel, that's what makes this a Type 3 deployment," Kenny Overton said. "We are just ready for whatever could possibly happen in this situation."

Known as the Arizona Urban Search and Rescue Team, the group is made up of 35 Phoenix firefighters, eight support personnel, and two members of Phoenix police.

So why send a group from Phoenix to the East Coast?

"A thing that sets us apart from other task forces is that we have boats that are ready to deploy, so we are taking those with us to Raleigh, North Carolina," Overton said.

The team knows "failing to prepare is preparing to fail," so that means always being ready for the next natural disaster.

"We have some K-9 search dogs, we have cadaver dogs, also live find dogs, we also have technical rescue technicians, as well as hazmat technicians, paramedics, and communication experts," Overton said. "They've been training for this all year long."

Until landfall, the task force won't know exactly what to expect, and the only guarantee is that they'll provide help for as long as needed.

"They anticipate to be out there for two weeks to start, however, they could be out there for three weeks or possibly even longer," Overton said.