FRAMINGHAM (CBS) — A Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency team will go to the Florida panhandle to assist with the recovery efforts following the devastation left behind by Hurricane Michael.

At least 12 people were killed in the hurricane, and FEMA Administrator Brock Long said he expects that number to rise.

“We’re still in life-safety mode,” Long told CBS News. “We’re not even close to having discussions on rebuilding yet.”

Gov. Charlie Baker authorized a three-person emergency crew to go to Florida after receiving a request for help from the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national emergency management mutual aid system.

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors on Oct. 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Massachusetts “stands at the ready to assist residents in Florida and neighboring states as they deal with the immediate and long-term impacts of Hurricane Michael,” Baker said in a statement Friday. “As this team heads to Florida, we are actively monitoring for additional requests to support response and recovery operations.”

More than 1.4 million utility customers from Florida to Virginia were without power Friday, according to CBS News.

In recent years, MEMA has deployed staff from various state agencies to North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Texas to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters.


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