Valley clean up crew heads to the Northeast for Sandy's aftermath

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Sandy's devastation is some 2,000 miles away. While most of us watch with awe from the safety of our homes, staff members at ServPro of Gilbert are preparing to see it first hand.

"We've just been kinda watching to see what the weather's doing and what kind of floods were coming in and they just put us all on standby," said ServPro of Gilbert owner Tony Oliverio.

But Tuesday they got the green light, and spent their morning packing up their cleaning business and preparing for a three-and-a-half day drive to New York and New Jersey.

"We have fans, we have dehumidifiers to get the humidity out of the homes, we have what's called air scrubbers, what those do basically, if we have a mold situation, it filters the air," said Oliverio.

With those tools, they'll go into homes flagged for repair by insurance companies, and make it like it never happened. They'll likely join other Valley natives headed to the Northeast to lend a hand. Another group on standby is Arizona Task Force One, made up of Phoenix Fire and Police.

"So they're essentially telling Arizona Task Force One, one of 28 national teams, that we may need your services and resources back East," said Deputy Chief Chris Ketterer with the Phoenix Fire Dept.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones and all of those on the east coast battling the effects of hurricane Sandy," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said.  "More help is on the way from all corners of our nation, and the Phoenix Fire Department stands ready to aid in any way it can.  We are in this together and Phoenix is ready to help."

From law enforcement presence, to someone to dry out flooded homes - the East coast is in need of both, and it will be for a while. ServPro expects to be there at least a month.

"It's going to be some long hours and everybody understands that...just get the job done," said Oliverio.