Danville Life Saving Crew’s (DLSC) Dive and Swift Water Rescue Teams are preparing for the potential impact of Hurricane Florence, which the National Weather Service expects to become a “dangerous major hurricane.”
Once Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency this past Saturday, DLSC began preparing for emergency response. DLSC’s Special Operations teams are on standby and prepared to respond to calls for flooding, entrapment and rescue.
“We are doing everything we can to prepare for the impact of this storm,” DLSC Chief Robbie Woodall ensured. “Our Dive and Swift Water Rescue teams have a disaster preparedness plan and are meeting tonight to go over everything. They’re making sure our boats and equipment are ready to deploy as needed.”
DLSC has four Zodiac (inflatable) boats, three conventional rubber bottom rescue boats, four kayaks and ambulances ready to respond within minutes.
“The most important thing right now is educating the public,” Jim Mullins, DLSC Dive Team member, said, “Don’t walk through flooded water. You cannot see what’s in the water, it isn’t clean and can contain sewage or material that can result in an infection or parasite.”
It is also important to never drive through standing or flowing water. Vehicles can easily hydroplane or be swept away when heavy rain collects on roads or parking lots.
If not part of an active mandatory evacuation order, it is best for residents to stay in their homes. In Danville, rain water typically recedes quickly once a storm passes. If there is a true emergency, contact 9-1-1 immediately. However, if a non-emergent issue can wait until after the storm passes, please consider waiting to dial 9-1-1. EMS, first responders and emergency resources will likely be overexerted during this weather emergency.
Caption Above: DLSC uses an inflatable banana boat during flash flooding earlier in 2018.