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Utah Emergency Management sending team to help Florida recover, gain disaster experience

Posted at 10:58 AM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 13:52:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY - The winds may have died down, the rains have let up and much of the flooding has receded.

However, there's a great deal that still needs to be done to help much of Florida get back to some semblance of normalcy.

Utah is helping out by sending three members of the state's emergency management team to Florida to help in the recovery efforts.

Thayne Michelson is with the Utah Department of Agriculture and will assist with the reorganization and replanting of some of the heavily damaged crops in Florida, including citrus and sugar.

He will also help to organize pet shelters and displaced families concerned about their animals.

Tyson Walker is with Health and Human Services.

He will help with the coordination and follow-up relating to the most basic needs of those most heavily impacted by the hurricane, including food and housing.

Beyond assisting Floridians, both men say this will provide some real-life, hands-on experience of how things should work in the event Utah has a real disaster.

The team will leave Sunday and head to Tallahassee, Florida.

They will remain on the ground for 16 days helping and learning.

This is all part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, or EMAC, a state-to-state mutual aid organization.