National Guard ready for Hurricane Earl

Wednesday - 9/1/2010, 10:40am EDT

Jack Harrison, Director of Communications, National Guard

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

A hurricane warning has been issued for the North Carolina coast as powerful Hurricane Earl bears down on the East Coast. Evacuations are already underway in parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks, while every coastline state north to Maine is trying to figure out what the storm's going to do.

And in advance of that, Jack Harrison, Director of Communications for the National Guard told Federal News Radio, the Guard's preparing for the aftermath.

The Guard says it can rapidly deploy capability-based force packages to an affected area. According to the National Guard, those packages can provide command and control, special response teams, aviation, military police, engineer, transportation, medical, chemical and communications, among other things.

Ahead of the storm, said Harrison, the Guard is already "identifying the assets that are available right now, should they be needed to respond."

Typically in these kinds of situations, if the storm were to get real close to the coast and cause wind and water damage, you'd need high-water vehicles, you'd need engineers to clear roadways and those kinds of things. And so the states are identifying those capabilities and those assets.

The best thing residents up and down the eastern seaboard could do, said Harrison, is focus on individual preparation. "My message would be," said Harrison, "to everybody who lives in that particular path would be to make sure they're listening to the local authorities, listening to the National Guard if in fact they get called out, and preparing for the potential for the storm to get closer to the coast than what's currently being forecast."

For more about local D.C. preparations and weather forecasts, see WTOP.com and for more about the National Guard and some of their missions you might not be aware of, listen to the entire interview with Jack Harrison by clicking on the audio player at the top of this page.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.