CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) — As the people of Florida continue preparing and bracing for Hurricane Ian, alongside them will be first responders from East Tennessee.

Monday night, Anderson County EMA‘s Scott Thomas and Bobbie Jo Henderson departed from East Tennessee, met with a caravan of other emergency responders and headed to Pensacola, which is located in the Florida panhandle.

The two are now preparing to travel to Mariana. There, they will learn more about their mission.

Assistant Director Scott Thomas and Deputy Director Education Bobbi Jo Henderson

“In the past, in other deployments, it might be helping out with evacuations, nursing homes or hospitals, if they’re in the direct hit or the impact area,” Deputy Director Bobbi Jo Henderson said. “It may be search and rescue after the fact.”

Henderson and Thomas are among 37 other strike team members, all of who have undergone training meant to prepare them for emergency situations and disasters.

“It’s an EMS, ambulance operation so supporting any of the local communities that might need it,” Anderson County EMA Director Nathan Sweet said. “We’re there to help the resources they already have onsite.”

Before crews head deeper into Florida, they’re pooling their equipment and stocking up on necessities.

“We also have a supply trailer, we have a mobile generator they pulled down here last night for each team,” Henderson told WATE. “We have fuel, water, MRE’s in case we don’t have access to the restaurants later on. Bug spray, anything you can think of.”

As Hurricane Ian makes its way closer to the sunshine state, residents of the volunteer state say they’re standing by.

“Just pray for us, pray for our safety and pray for the people in Florida,” Henderson said.

Henderson and Thomas are unsure how long they will be stationed in Florida. Currently, they have enough gear to last them two weeks.