When disaster strikes, the South Carolina National Guard is there to help.
The Army National Guard and the Air National Guard say they have been practicing their disaster responses for years. Now they are activated for Hurricane Florence.
“This is all part of a very large effort that goes years in the making,” Gen. Roy McCarty said. “The guard, along with the other state emergency management assets and to include other state agencies routinely train together.”
With four hurricane impacts in four years (Joaquin, Matthew, Irma and now Florence), the South Carolina National Guard has gotten lots of practice perfecting its response.
“Our benchmark goes back to Hurricane Hugo,” McCarty said. “A lot of our planning and preparation was built around lessons that we learned from Hurricane Hugo and we have worked over the years to build plans, to address the shortfalls that we had there. We conducted exercises.”
About 2,600 personnel have been activated statewide in both the National Guard and Air National Guard. Both personnel and equipment were placed into position to potentially conduct any rescues which may be necessary in floodwaters or to get supplies into areas that could be affected. South Carolina State Guard troops helped perform river rescues in the Marion County town of Mullins over the weekend.
“Get back in and begin the recovery operations that we can get people back into their affected areas back into their homes, back to their businesses as quickly as possible to ensure that we get our economy back up and normalize life as quick as we can,” McCarty said.