Are there editing files that we can store outside of the cloud.
No, all Rush project files are located in Creative Cloud by default. Sorry.
we are on a team and if one person is out, can the other person pick up the rush file and continue editing or updating it?
Sorry, Rush is not really set up for sharing projects. You can upvote this feature request here: Make it possible to collaborate with colleagues. – Adobe video & audio apps
How do manage video files in the long term for saving them?
Rush project files remain in the Cloud. You cannot really manage them, per se.
Do we open up in premier pro and save as a project that way?
If you have a Creative Cloud subscription, and not just a Rush subscription, then that is one possibility you can try. I don't see why that would not work. Keep in mind that you cannot return to Rush with these projects at that time. You need to stay in Premiere Pro going forward. Otherwise, if this is a concern, please try it and report back.