WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 10, 2011) -- Governors of four southern states have declared states of emergency due to winter storms, bringing a number of National Guard troops on state active duty.

In addition, six southern Army installations limited operations and staffing to mission-essential personnel due to the inclement weather: Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Gillem, Ga.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; and Fort McPherson, Ga. Also Fort Benning, Ga., closed its schools Jan. 10, and declared its roads and bridges as unsafe for travel.

National Guardsmen in the Southeast area are preparing to assist during the winter emergency.

The Arkansas National Guard is providing 10 Humvees and 24 Army National Guard Soldiers for state active duty to conduct safety and wellness checks along Interstate 30 between Little Rock and Malvern, Ark.

Arkansas is also scheduled to open the Malvern and Benton armories as shelters for stranded motorists.

The Alabama National Guard has activated two Army National Guard Soldiers as liaison officers for the State Emergency Operation Center, and will continue to monitor the situation.

The Georgia National Guard is preparing equipment and issuing plans to support communities if the governor orders their mobilization.

"Soldiers and Airmen of the Georgia National Guard stand ready to do our part to help local communities recover, if we are needed," said Army Maj. Gen. William Nesbitt, Georgia's adjutant general.

Guardsmen who had already conducted monthly drills Jan. 9 prepared Humvees, loaded equipment, prepositioned supplies, and updated plans to mobilize, should the governor call upon them.

The Georgia Guard's Joint Forces Headquarters also brought its Joint Operations Center staffing up to operating capacity Jan. 9 in order to monitor the storm and manage any potential response by the National Guard.