Local search, rescue, recovery agencies deploy to help with Hurricane Matthew

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FAIRFAX, Va. -- Hundreds of thousands evacuated as Hurricane Matthew closed in on the Atlantic Coast, Thursday.

Multiple local and regional agencies from the Washington metro area packed up and drove towards Florida ahead of Matthew.

Paul Carden, Emergency and International Services Director for Red Cross National Capital Region said as of Thursday, he deployed two teams to provide comfort and some of life’s basic essentials once the storm passes.

“The volunteers drive door to door in the impacted neighborhoods, talk to people and bring them over to the truck to get a hot meal for their families,” said Carden.

With Red Cross experts predicting mass destruction, Carden said deploying is about more than just providing meals, it is emotional support as well.

“Then they realize they are not alone that the whole country is worried about them,” Carden expressed.

One of the best search and rescue teams in the world is based in Fairfax, they too deployed, with 60 thousand pounds of equipment, to areas that were expected to suffer most.

“We have swift water assets, still water assets, K-9 ability, structural specialists, and we also have the ability to rescue people that are trapped in buildings or collapses, we even have the ability to do wide area searches,” explained Chris Schaff, Battalion Chief that oversees Urban Search and Rescue Team Virginia Task Force 1.

Schaff said the task force, including K-9’s, trained countless hours for moments like this.

Virginia Task Force 1 also deployed a team to Haiti.