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Mass. dispatches emergency team to Florida to help with Hurricane Michael recovery effort

Members of the Northwest Massachusetts Incident Management Team.
Members of the Northwest Massachusetts Incident Management Team. (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency)

A 12-person incident management team will be deployed to Florida Monday to assist with response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael caused widespread destruction last week, according to emergency management officials.

Governor Charlie Baker authorized the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to send the team after a request for assistance from Florida came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, MEMA said in a statement.

The Northwest Massachusetts Incident Management Team includes three employees from the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as volunteers from different public and private sector organizations and public safety disciplines, MEMA said.

The team, expected to be deployed for two weeks, will receive its assignment once it reaches Florida, but it will likely support a county emergency operations center or coordinate staging and field operations in an impacted area, MEMA said.

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“Massachusetts is proud to deploy additional personnel to assist with hurricane recovery and relief operations in Florida during this difficult time,” Baker said. “As we continue to monitor requests for assistance, these experienced emergency managers will provide critical support to public safety officials in Florida.”

EMAC is a mutual aid agreement among all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam that enables the governor to request disaster assistance like personnel and equipment from other states before, during, or after a disaster, MEMA said.

“Hurricane Michael has caused devastating damage in parts of Florida and residents face a long road to recovery,” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said. “Our hearts are with the people of Florida and impacted residents, and Massachusetts will continue to look for ways to meet and support the needs of the communities and their residents.”

Last week the Baker-Polito administration announced the deployment of a three-person emergency operations center team to Florida to aid in recovery efforts, MEMA said. The team was deployed Sunday.

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Katie Camero can be reached at katie.camero@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @camerokt_