Ray Jadallah (assistant Miami–Dade fire chief) stated at a private briefing that although the storm's path remains distant, preparations for more wind and rain could cause minor changes to the rescue area by Friday afternoon.
He stressed that support equipment that was not used in the search would only be temporarily removed and that search crews would continue to work until the end.
Jadallah stated that "Even though the hurricane is coming," he said to the families of the missing during a morning briefing. According to a stream on social media, Jadallah also added, "We're going to keep working until the safety personnel is in doubt." "Our personnel is the last thing that should be moved."
Elsa is expected to turn into a tropical storm when it approaches South Florida Monday or Tuesday. However, forecasters warn that there is still much uncertainty about its path and potential impact.
Margarita Castro, an officer of Florida Task Force 1 search-and-rescue team, stated Friday that a decision to stop rescue efforts will not be made until the storm is closer. This could be Saturday or Sunday. The storm's direction of travel will determine the plan.
She told reporters that it was possible for all work to stop depending on the outcome of what she receives.
Castro, a former firefighter, said that the Miami Herald had informed the families of the missing that trucks and other "assets," which aid in rescue efforts, may be removed from the site Friday. She explained that authorities don't want to wait until the last minute to remove all the equipment.
Heavy machinery would be kept on site regardless of any storm impact, and rescuers would continue to work until it was impossible for them to do so.