By Spc. Hannah TarkellySeptember 9, 2019
NORTH CAROLINA, United States - North Carolina National Guard service members joined forces with N.C. Emergency Management and state partner agencies from the central and eastern portions of North Carolina, as they prepared for, responded to and began recovering from the effects of Hurricane Dorian Sept. 4-8, 2019.
Hurricane Dorian's destructive path was aimed at the Tar Heel State as it made its way up the eastern US coastline beginning the morning of Sept. 6 leaving the Crystal Coast with flooded homes, power outages and devastating wreckage. Hurricane Dorian began its destruction on the Tar Heel State when it made landfall at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, as a category one storm.
However, in wake of this natural disaster there were experienced, trained and motivated professionals ready to assist people affected by the storm before, during and after its approach, landing and departure.
As Hurricane Dorian proceeded up the Atlantic Ocean, the NCNG mobilized droves of service members and tactical vehicles and aircraft to support the Governor, N.C. Emergency Management and state partner agencies.
"We've had fuel cans and MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) all on stand by for the past few months in preparation for the hurricane season," said U.S. Army Pvt. Robert Taylor, of the 823rd Quarry Team, 505th Engineer Battalion, 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
NCNG personnel and equipment were strategically positioned at various armories along the eastern portion of North Carolina. The personnel and equipment were part of force packages, which were identified, organized and distributed to counties projected to be impacted by the storm.
The strategic placement of the force packages was accomplished with the help of the NCEM Eastern Branch.
"We're very proud of our partnership with the (North Carolina) National Guard. Not only are they our daily partners, but they're also our disaster partners.," said Dianne Curtis, the NCEM Eastern Branch Office Manager. "We're proud to have them in the East, standing ready to support the citizens."
The NCNG service members also worked alongside swift water rescue teams and local fire departments to provide essential equipment used for disaster relief efforts, such as Light Medium Tactical Vehicles and establishing distribution points for food, water and communication devices.
The Guard provides them access to flooded roadways where it's not feasible to run boats when needed to travel over a long distance, said Bart Bell a member of the Swift Water Rescue Team from the Charlotte, North Carolina Fire Department.
"The North Carolina Emergency Management and organizations, like the Charlotte Fire Department and the National Guard, all work together really well," said Bart Bell. "Bringing all those assets together beforehand lets us work more efficiently to make whatever happen that we need to when the time comes."
The New Bern Fire Department, New Bern Police Department, NCEM personnel, swift water rescue teams and Soldiers of the 823rd Quarry Team were one of many dynamic teams brought together to provide relief efforts to the local communities along the Crystal Coast.
The NCNG is a ready, reliable, responsive and relevant force prepared to assist the Old North State and federal government at a moments notice.