Hurricane Dorian became a potentially “catastrophic” Category 5 storm and the strongest on modern record as it approaches the northwestern Bahamas in the Caribbean, according to a National Hurricane Center update today.
Forecasters said the maximum sustained winds around the eye of the “extremely dangerous” storm had reached 185 miles an hour, making it a “catastrophic” storm with “devastating winds.”
Being prepared requires more than having a flash light, canned goods and potable water on hand. Preparedness also means having a proper plan in place. A comprehensive plan starts before disaster hits.
More than 4,400 National Guard soldiers and airmen have been activated to provide Hurricane Dorian relief.
The guardsmen will be equipped for relief efforts including humanitarian aid, search and rescue, and aviation. They will operate a fleet of high-wheeled units, boats and generators.
They will also have access to helicopters, CH-47 Chinooks, LUH-72 Lakotas and two models of Blackhawks UH-60s and HH-60s, to be exact.
Approximately 150 Soldiers within the 254th Transportation Battalion are expected to report for duty at the Florida National Guard Armory in West Palm Beach. Seventy-percent is comprised of men and women from Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.
“It’s very gratifying that we are helping our own community – we put everything on hold to put the uniform on,” said Maj. Keith P. Anderson, 254th Transportation Battalion executive officer who resides in Jupiter. “It’s 48 to 72-hours before impact and we’re prepared.”
Anderson says during the planning phase his Soldiers will look at routes, plan recon and courses of action during, before and after the storm.