By Patti Bielling, ARNORTHMay 26, 2009
U.S. Army North and Hurricane Response
What is it'
United States Army North (Fifth Army), the Army component of U.S. Northern Command, has been working with its partners to prepare for the June 1 start of hurricane season. During hurricanes and other disasters, the National Guard serves as a state first responder. When a state requests federal assistance, a primary agency - usually the Federal Emergency Management Agency - coordinates requested support from across various federal agencies, including Department of Defense. The Army may support civil authorities during disasters to save lives, alleviate suffering or mitigate great property damage. Typical federal military support includes non-law enforcement activities such as assisting with search and rescue, evacuation and transportation; providing potable water and ice; establishing temporary power, communications and shelter; providing medical support and logistics support; and providing an installation as a temporary FEMA staging or support base.
What has the Army done'
Army North and FEMA, along with other military, state and interagency partners, have completed numerous training events to strengthen relationships and to identify possible requirements before hurricane season. These include an Army-sponsored Rehearsal of Concept drill in April with more than 150 participants from federal, state, local and nongovernmental agencies, as well as a number of other exercises and conferences. Army North also has revised contingency plans to anticipate local, state, and federal requests for assistance. In addition, the Army has developed a comprehensive equipping strategy to meet critical requirements for equipment and manpower during hurricane season.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future'
Army North stands ready to assist civil authorities to save lives, mitigate suffering, prevent great property damage and restore essential public services in case of disaster.
The Army encourages Soldiers and their families to be prepared. Those living in hurricane-prone areas should plan where they will go if advised to evacuate. Families should create portable emergency kits that include additional items for family members with special needs and pets. Excellent disaster preparedness advice is available online at the "Ready Army" Web site.
Why is this important to the Army'
The Army is committed to keeping Soldiers and families safe during hurricane season. Army North, as the Army component of U.S. Northern Command, also stands ready to anticipate potential requirements and coordinate federal military assistance in support of civil authorities during disaster response.
ARNORTH Web site
Ready Army Web site