Pennsylvanians head to Texas to offer Hurricane Harvey help

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SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- As a potentially deadly hurricane makes it's way towards Texas, two Pennsylvanians are headed there to offer assistance.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency known as PEMA is sending people with experience in disaster response.

PEMA officials said they're sending their deputy director of response and a Philadelphia firefighter as part of PA Task Force 1 to help out during and after the storm.

Even though Hurricane Harvey is about to strike land in Texas, emergency management teams in Pennsylvania are keeping an eye on the storm, a thousand miles away.

PEMA director Rick Flinn said "you're going to have massive power outages, massive flooding scenarios, all the things associated with loss of power as well as the threat of serious flooding."

Texans affected by the hurricane may realize an old state motto, that they've 'got a friend in Pennsylvania.'

"Governor Wolf has expressed that any assistance that folks need in any state, we have been and we will continue to provide support," Flinn said.

PEMA has two people as part of PA Task Force 1 on a mission in Texas as the Hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast.

"One of which would be water rescue, because they'll have that capability, and to do swift water rescue assets. Then, after the storm is gone through and it's safe to get in, they need to go in and check the houses that have been destroyed to ensure that no one is in there," Flinn said.

As Texas braces for Hurricane Harvey, it won't be the first time PEMA has lent its expertise as well as a helping hand to another state. It also won't be the last.

"We've got a highly qualified, educated and experienced individuals that can provide that type of service to residents of other states. I feel very proud as the governor has, being able to provide that assistance, because we know that if we needed that in Pennsylvania, other states would come," Flinn said.

Flinn said teams will break up the areas hit by the storm into quadrants. The PEMA deputy director of response will oversee one of the grids, while the Philadelphia firefighter will serve as a water rescue expert.