• Maj. Dennis Martinez, a plans officer for the New York National Guard discusses reporting procedures for emergency response with Laura Aery, an intelligence analyst with the office of counterterrorism. Both are working as liaisons at the New York State Office of Emergency Management Operations center representing their agencies preparing to respond to Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 26, 2012.

    Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

    Maj. Dennis Martinez, a plans officer for the New York National Guard discusses reporting procedures for emergency response with Laura Aery, an intelligence analyst with the office of counterterrorism. Both are working as liaisons at the New York State...

  • More than two dozen New York Army National Guard 206th Military Police Company vehicles stand ready for emergency response in advance of Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 26, 2012.

    Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

    More than two dozen New York Army National Guard 206th Military Police Company vehicles stand ready for emergency response in advance of Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 26, 2012.

  • Pvt. Cory McLean, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the New York Army National Guard's 206th Military Police Company prepares a M1151 HMMWV for emergency response in advance of Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 26, 2012.

    Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

    Pvt. Cory McLean, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the New York Army National Guard's 206th Military Police Company prepares a M1151 HMMWV for emergency response in advance of Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 26, 2012.

  • A National Hurricane Center graphic depicting half of Hurricane Sandy.

    Hurricane Sandy

    A National Hurricane Center graphic depicting half of Hurricane Sandy.

ARLINGTON, Va. (Oct. 26, 2012) -- More than 61,000 National Guard personnel along the eastern seaboard are available for duty if and when Hurricane Sandy makes landfall sometime next week, Guard officials said today.

The National Guards in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia are coordinating with authorities in the event Sandy makes landfall as predicted.

As of 4 p.m. today, governors in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

"We are monitoring Hurricane Sandy closely and coordinating with our federal, state and local partners to ensure a coordinated and efficient response," said Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau. "Units across the National Guard are making the necessary preparations to respond to the needs of any states affected by Hurricane Sandy; rest assured the National Guard is poised and ready to provide proven responders and capabilities."

According to National Weather Service officials, the Category I storm could weaken into a tropical storm before it hits land in the Northeast/New England coast, but it could drop as much as 10 inches of rain along the coast on its northerly trajectory. If it collides with arctic air moving from the north and an early winter storm moving from the west, Sandy could potentially turn into what some weather officials are calling the "perfect storm."

In Delaware, the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron has nurses and med techs already on standby, while the Air Guard is moving all flyable equipment out of the storm's path over the weekend. The Army Guard will be sheltering helicopters until the storm passes, at which point they can fly into action as needed, Delaware National Guard officials said.

"We are joined in a cooperative effort - to save lives, protect property, and support recovery efforts," Gen. Grass said.

The Delaware and New York Public Affairs offices and Air Force Maj. Gary Arasin contributed to this story.

Page last updated Fri October 26th, 2012 at 00:00