Urban Search and Rescue (US&R)

A FEMA Urban Search and Rescue worker and his rescue dog search for residents trapped in collapsed houses in a neighborhood affected by Hurricane Katrina. Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

Urban search-and-rescue (US&R) involves the location, rescue (extrication), and initial medical stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces. Structural collapse is most often the cause of victims being trapped, but victims may also be trapped in transportation accidents, mines and collapsed trenches.

Urban search-and-rescue is considered a "multi-hazard" discipline, as it may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, storms and tornadoes, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, terrorist activities, and hazardous materials releases. The events may be slow in developing, as in the case of hurricanes, or sudden, as in the case of earthquakes.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 28-Feb-2007 12:37:15 EST