FOR MEDIA RELEASE
29 September 2022 LAST 24
The Aerial Recovery Special Operations Advanced Reconnaissance (SOAR) Team, Aerial Tier 2 and Tier 3 Volunteers, and partners from the Cajun Navy working in cooperation to provide immediate disaster response operations in the greater FT Meyers, FL area due to the substantial wind and flood damage caused by Hurricane Ian. Both teams traveled into the outer bands of Hurricane Ian to be postured to act as soon as possible following the storm. The Aerial Team moved quickly to conduct search and rescue and began extracting and evacuating local residents within 30min of arrival at FT Meyers. Aerial Recovery and Cajun Navy personnel conducted water rescues, treated individuals for hypothermia, shock, and other physical trauma, evacuated priority patients to the first hospital to open in the area, and safely transferred residents to a local shelter. While establishing a mobile tactical operations center (TOC), the combined Aerial Team conducted large-scale welfare checks across the FT Myers area and distributed aid prioritized to at-risk residents in the most devastated neighborhoods. The Aerial Team is continuing search and rescue efforts for stranded individuals in the Hurricane Bay area while simultaneously expanding aid distribution and maximizing greater recovery efforts through coordination with local partners, NGOs, and government entities.
OPERATIONAL LOG (Key Times Only):
The day’s operations were conducted jointly with the Cajun Navy.
06:45 CST - Initial Movement: Team deploys toward the greater Fort Myers, FL area
20:49 EDT - Convoy arrived at the Operation Blessing Warehouse for supply pick up – 144 home repair kits (sealed Home Depot buckets) and 36 boxes of food. One box will feed a family of four for four days
21:00 EDT - Aerial Team linked up with the Cajun Navy Ground Force (six volunteers) and continued west of the storm towards Tampa.
22:39 EDT - Aeria/CNGF team initiates search and rescue operations. Responded to an evacuation/aid request for four individuals. However after arriving, no one was on site.
28 Sep 2022 0315 EDT - Aerial team completed a health and wellness check for an elderly man with COPD. Oxygen, food and water were provided.
0355 EDT Team set up a temporary tactical operations center in the hardest hit area - Punta Russa. The team immediately launched boats to provide assistance in the area. The team also began to identify visual distress signals from residents in the area.
Aerial team members conduct search and recovery in neighborhood completely inundated by the storm surge.
0420 EDT Team Aerial and CNGF rescued a female who was attempting to swim to safety from her trailer. Team provided medical care for shock, hypothermia and small lacerations.
0438 EDT Team Aerial and CNGF moved north to continue welfare and health checks. Large numbers of local residents in distress were identified. Team establish ad hoc communications and tracking protocol.
0455 EDT - Emergency Departments begin to open in the Charlotte County area. Previously closed due to such severe weather conditions, hospitals in the area were not permitted to accept new patients. Despite this and the austere weather conditions, Aerial and CNGF continued on with rescue operations. Rescue and assistance provided to 30+ individuals, including a medically fragile woman with renal failure and on dialysis. Teams also collaborated with emergency response to evacuate a 54 yo to hospital. To cover more ground, the team split into smaller response teams and began conducting medical and shelter evacuations.
Aerial and Cajun Navy personnel extract an elderly man from his flooded home.
0531 EDT - Aerial and CNGF - responded to a family member’s request for a health and wellness check on an elderly female (mother). Upon arrival, the team encountered a flooded home with no power. The elderly woman had lost her phone in the water and could not call for help or her daughter. The team successfully facilitated communications between mother and daughter and provided food and water also.
0557 - Team extracted a trapped female, with signs and symptoms of hypothermia, out of her flooded home. Team provided initial medical care and coordinated medical evacuation.
0600 - Aerial team traversed through and responded to another extraction of an elderly female who required to be carried out in a litter.
0617 - Aerial team evacuated another person to nearby shelter operating out of a high school -very difficult to access due to road conditions
0648 - Scouted areas to establish skinny TOC location
0721 - Evacuated one 77 yo male to the hospital
0849 - Location that had 50+ people standing out. Multiple people have rides that are picking them up and have moved from this location. Aerial Team continues to coordinate, triage, and organize residents for departure to hospital, shelter, or outside family.
1413 - Launched 2 in-home wellness checks
1515: Boat crew just made it out of the neighborhood for this drop point. We’re taking some people to the shelter, and then we will make our way back to the TOC immediately after. We’re crossing just over the south end of that bridge absolute devastation over here
1527 - Completed wellness check for 89 yo male
1610 - Conducted aid distribution and putting tarps on homes in the heavily damaged neighborhoods of San Carlos Island.