Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- The Air National Guard at Hancock has 90 members on the road to help aid relief efforts downstate following Superstorm Sandy.
After watching the storm’s devastation unfold, they’re ready to help. 40 Humvees from Fort Drum were picked up, fueled up and stocked up as the group deployed Tuesday to Camp Smith in Peekskill where they will await orders.
“It’s amazing and it just makes us a little bit nervous going into those areas, but that’s what we’re trained to do,” said Lt. Ron Berzins.
"Make sure that there's survival gear, combat life saver gear, picks, shovels, anything to assist,” explained Senior Airman Colvin.
Guard members don't know exactly what they'll be doing once they get down there. It could be anything from setting up communications and running security, to moving debris and helping with the rescue effort. Regardless, they say they’re ready.
"You never really know what you're preparing yourself for until you get there, unfortunately,” said Airman First Class Steve Mueller.
Some of them responded to New York City after Hurricane Irene, so they say they’re kind of headed into familiar territory.
And though the locations may be familiar, the damage left behind by Sandy is likely to be above and beyond what they experienced during Irene.
Still, more Guard members than needed volunteered for this mission after getting the call two days ago.
“People are anxious. They're all raising their hand. They all want to go. There was a look of disappointment for those that didn't get chosen, so it's always great to be a part of a team that wants to do this and go to help others. It's an amazing group of men and women; proud to work alongside them,” said Lt. Berzins.
A number of fire departments in Cayuga County have also launched crews into service. More than a dozen firefighters from Auburn, Aurelius and Oswasco left early Tuesday morning for Coney Island. They’ll likely be there for several days.
Some Red Cross volunteers are also headed to New York City, New Jersey and other hard-hit areas. The volunteers are learning their assignments and will leave Wednesday morning.