Mercader: Well, as you know everyone has seen by now that Hurricane Maria basically caused a lot of devastation.
This will be the third deployment in response to a hurricane for Maryland Task Force One. Gen. Derek P. Rydholm told reporters Friday.
This massive worldwide crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits and donors is providing emergency supplies like food, water and medicine to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. "The damage left behind is catastrophic, and we need your help to rebuild it", the page says.
An Austin police officer from the US territory described his family's experience as they rode out the storm. The city's mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, said the biggest need was getting emergency medication and supplies to vulnerable people who are stranded in their homes. The U.S. territory - which has roughly 3.4 million residents - is now 95 to 100 percent without power.
The main airport on the island is also not operating due to the lack of power. "Right now our efforts are to make sure we have everybody safe, that we can rescue people".
"It's pretty nerve wracking and stressful, but you try to stay positive", said Gerardo Colon, of Cleveland, who has not heard from his parents or grandparents since the storm hit.
CBS6 spoke to Deputy Task Force Leader Michael Barakey via FaceTime on Thursday.
For the past two weeks, 11 Texas Task Force 1 members have been stationed in Puerto Rico and will remain there for the foreseeable future, providing FEMA with incident support in regards to Hurricane Irma destruction.
As for how long the National Guard will be there - there's no timeline on when they'll be coming home. "There has been a growing migration of Puerto Ricans here already because of the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico; we expect that to amplify".
The military is trying to ease the strain on those troops. "We are poor people, we came here to get better, but we can't leave them behind".
The National Weather Service (NWS) said buses were "currently evacuating people from the area as quickly as they can".
Dennison is one of many in this collection effort.