Missouri Task Force One has returned to Columbia after spending a week on the East Coast helping Hurricane Sandy victims.
After a long drive from the East Coast, the Missouri Task Force 1 crew of about 80 people arrived at Boone County Fire Protection District office Wednesday afternoon.
Dan Casey, a rescue specialist with the task force, sais that during their mission, the team mainly stayed at Long Island and New Jersey, helping with humanitarian tasks.
“We went door to door, and visited with the people to see if they needed anything. We wanted to make sure that any elderly or special needs folks were taken care of. If they needed to be evacuated we did. We did that with several people,” Casey said.
Casey said the team also provided water and food to the affected residents, and offered information about food, shelter and medical care.
Shalom Shoaf, another rescue specialist of the crew, said the people they met and ran into were very appreciative.
“It went probably a week without any contact, no electricity, no TV, no news. And we are the first ones that they met," Shoaf said. She said the experience led her and her colleagues to realize the importance of an emergency preparation plan.
“You never know when a disaster is going to hit. Make sure you have plenty of water and food and pharmaceuticals, things that you need for the first couple of days, before a help can arrive to assist you," Shoaf said.
Missouri Task Force One reached out to about 4,200 homes while they were on the East Coast. The team is one of the 28 Task Force units in the nation.