11 and Hurricane Katrina involve a variety of obstacles, which require a lot of equipment and specialists who know how to use it. The list covers everything from structural shoring equipment to dog food and port-o-potties.The days of using jacks to lift vehicles and chunks of concrete off an injured person are long gone. The teams are outfitted with the necessary medical equipment to deal with just about any scenario.
To call the equipment cache for an urban search-and-rescue operation vast is quite an understatement.
In addition to the lifters, shoring equipment is necessary to make sure the passageways the teams create are stable and safe to travel into.Traditional heavy demolition and construction equipment is key to any USAR operation.

USAR teams even pack defibrillators and endotracheal tubes in order to shock someone back to life or perform an emergency tracheotomy if necessary.In addition to all the life-saving and construction equipment, there are all manner of communication systems as well as the ordinary everyday items used to keep the team going.
FEMA's USAR task force equipment list is more than 60 pages long and contains over 2,000 items [source: FEMA]. USAR teams use heavy-rigging gear like chains, cables, anchors and rope-hauling systems to remove larger pieces of collapsed building. Even crayons find their way onto the FEMA list -- they're used to mark concrete and stone.In the next section, we'll dive into air and sea rescue. Heavy winds can delay a search because they can compromise the integrity of the structure and the safety of the search team.Hazardous material equipment is also necessary to ensure the safety of the USAR workers.

If survivors are found, USAR workers insert breathing tubes to allow the trapped person a breath of air.
They send backboards and rescue litters attached to rope hauling systems to stabilize the survivor.Medical supplies are plentiful on USAR trucks.

Safety precautions for tornadoes and hurricanes
Food survival kits
Disaster guide
Nist 800-60 vol 2


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