The National Guard hurricane assistance helps people both before and after a storm impacts an area. This helps maintain security and protect individuals living in places that are hit hardest by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Before members of the National Guard start providing hurricane assistance, they must go through basic training. Read what you can expect from the National Guard Basic Combat Training if you are interested in learning what that entails, and then
Preparing for a Hurricane
Before a hurricane even touches shore, the National Guard begins preparing for the event. Guardsmen help coordinate evacuations, stockpile food and water, and provide shelter for those who need it.
Evacuation is a particularly important aspect of the National Guard’s hurricane assistance. When a hurricane approaches land, the National Guard might need to bring in reservists to help cities evacuate as easily as possible. This requires an enormous effort that could necessitate shutting down highways as well as helping motorists choose safe paths out of an affected area.
The National Guard prepares for hurricanes by anticipating what they will need to do after storms have passed. Depending on the area, this can mean preparing emergency vehicles and medical professionals to care for those who have been injured during the storm. Staying prepared for a worst-case scenario allows the National Guard to provide the highest level of service without encountering surprises that could put more people in harm’s way.
National Guard Assistance After a Hurricane
Hurricanes can cause widespread destruction that leaves people without the basic necessities that they need to sustain life. Water is often contaminated, food scarce, and structures uninhabitable.
Evacuations, therefore, often continue after the hurricane passes. People who stayed behind might find that they cannot do so safely. At this point, however, evacuation could mean much more than simply directing traffic away from a city. The National Guard might have to use boats and helicopters to remove people from flooded areas.
The National Guard also provides security services before and after a hurricane. Looting, burglary, and other crimes often take place in devastated areas, so the National Guard maintains a presence to keep peace and order.
National Guard Response to Recent Hurricanes
The National Guard hurricane assistance efforts has proven its effectiveness in recent years. When Hurricane Isaac threatened Louisiana in 2012, the National Guard sent 4,126 troops to maintain order, distribute supplies, and assist evacuation efforts.
Troops in Louisiana created a shelter that could house 2,500 people in Alexandria. People, of course, needed a way to reach this and other shelters, so the National Guard worked with the education and transportation departments to evacuate citizens by bus. This not only helped families reach safety, but also helped reduce traffic on the road, making it easier for those using their own vehicles to escape a dangerous storm.
After Hurricane Isaac passed, the National Guard immediately began search and rescue missions to locate anyone who might have stayed behind to weather the storm. Within 12 hours of the storm’s passing, helicopters and boats scrambled to assess the situation and bring stranded individuals to safety.
The National Guard has a history of helping populations struggle through intense weather. The large number of strong hurricanes that have impacted states in the South have only proven that the National Guard can stand up to such challenges successfully.