When a natural disaster strikes, it’s hard to ever fully be prepared for what’s to come. But it certainly helps to know that the survival specialists of the Air National Guard are always quick to respond and assist the affected communities.
When a state of emergency is declared, it’s because the Governor believes the disaster that has occurred or is imminent is severe enough to require State aid to increase local resources to prevent and alleviate damage, suffering, and hardship for the local communities. That’s where the National Guard comes in.
These vital, supplementary resources include transportation, communications, public works and engineering, emergency management, mass care, public health, search, hazardous materials management and more. While each state has their own emergency operations plans and National Guard in place for when a natural disaster occurs, there is always the possibility of a need for more personnel and equipment, or the urgency of the situation overwhelms the conventional measures of a smaller scale emergency.
The Air National Guard has an exceptionally unique role in aiding the prevention and recovery of a natural disaster. Composed of citizen soldiers who serve on a part-time basis, these specially trained flyers provide the ultimate mobility of personnel and equipment through the air. When other means of transportation are limited or unable to move through difficult terrains, mobility by aircraft is the solution.
From Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Irma, the Joplin, MO tornado, the Haiti Earthquake and many others, The Air National Guard was one of the first on the scene to provide essential resources and aid to minimize the devastation of these disasters. And now, through a new network communications tool suite, first responders have interoperable communication between the military and other agencies even when local infrastructure has been destroyed. With timing as the most crucial aspect during a state of emergency, communication can be the difference in saving time and saving lives.
The National Guard also devotes their time to helping members of the community understand the do’s and don’ts for any type of disaster through hundreds of Citizen Preparedness Corps presentations at Senior Centers and local organizations. The survival specialists teach individuals how to have the tools and resources to prepare and quickly recover from both natural and human-made disasters, such as building individualized “Go Kits,” as well as training for the emotional aspects of a disaster.
The sky is not the limit for the Air National Guard. To learn more about their unique services and missions during natural disasters and more, check out their website.
Biek, K. (2017, September 11). What Role Does The National Guard Play In Natural Disasters? Retrieved September 14, 2018, from https://www.newsy.com/stories/what-s-the-national-guard-doing-during-hurricane-irma/
Homepage. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://goang.com/
Walker, A. (2017, June 12). Army National Guard provides critical link in disaster communication t. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from http://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/1209816/army-national-guard-provides-critical-link-in-disaster-response-communication-t/