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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As Hurricane Florence takes aim at the coastlines of North Carolina and South Carolina, first responders in South Florida are gearing up to help.

An elite team from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was activated by FEMA late Monday. The 80 person team is being deployed to Columbia, South Carolina. The team includes K9s, to assist in search and rescues, and medical personnel to assist in emergency situations.

Members of Miami Fire Rescue’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 left Monday night for South Carolina. More are expected to leave Tuesday, with some remaining behind on standby.

“We are prepared that if FEMA asks for additional resources we can send additional resources, we can send a separate swift water rescue team, we can also send a Type 3 task force which is 30 members, we can also send a Type 1 which is an additional 80 members that are equipped to handle whatever situation might come up,” said Assistant Chief Scott Dean.

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall Thursday night.

South Florida’s first responders have been told after it hits, be prepared to be there to render aid for at least two weeks, if not longer.

Florida Power & Light has also sent crews to assist in power restoration in the Carolinas.

FPL trucks headed out from a service center in Hollywood on Monday morning headed to South Carolina where they will stage Tuesday night.

“We got a lot of help from Duke Power and Light during Hurricane Irma so we are going to return the favor,” said FPL area manager Robert Gaddis.

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