SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP/BCN) — California is sending six specially trained urban search-and-rescue workers to Oklahoma to assist recovery efforts after Monday’s tornado.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency asked the state to send disaster workers. The state has eight urban search and rescue teams that specialize in searches, first aid and other recovery operations.
The six specialists heading to Oklahoma are from the fire departments in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the cities of Los Angeles, Oakland and Sacramento. California’s Emergency Management Agency says the state will provide additional support if needed.
A spokesman for a second Bay Area urban search and rescue team said that the 80-person task force based in Menlo Park will remain on standby throughout the week in case the Federal Emergency Management Agency calls in for more resources.
The team includes firefighters, paramedics, canine search dogs, and structural engineers and is ready to deploy in six to eight hours, California Task Force 3 program director Tim Campbell said.
There are 28 USAR teams nationwide that can be called on by FEMA to assist with major disasters. The last time the Menlo Park team was deployed was in 2008, after Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf States.
More help is heading to the Oklahoma area in the form of donations, according to the Bay Area Chapter of the Red Cross.
San Jose Sharks fans are being encouraged to donate funds as part of a collection drive at Tuesday night’s game, team officials said.
Donations for tornado victims will be collected at the street rally prior to the Sharks game, as well as at entrances to HP Pavilion and at Sharks Foundation booths inside.
Additionally, an automatic $10 donation can be made directly to the Red Cross by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999.
Donations of any amount can be made online at www.redcross.org.
The tornado struck an Oklahoma City suburb, killing at least 24 people, including nine children, and injuring more than 200.
Oklahoma emergency officials said Tuesday that every damaged home has been searched at least once.
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