Humanitarian Aid

DOD Responds to Hurricane Michael

Oct. 10, 2018 | BY Air Force Staff Sgt. Megan Friedl

Hurricane Michael has made landfall in the Florida panhandle. In preparation for this Category 4 hurricane, the Defense Department pre-positioned active-duty and National Guard members to help civilians during the storm.

Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, briefed reporters at the Pentagon on the Defense Department’s preparations to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the states affected by Hurricane Michael.

“We are surrounding the storm,” O’Shaughnessy said. “This is no small feat given the unprecedented size and strength of [Hurricane] Michael.”

Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, briefs the media about Hurricane Michael at the Pentagon.
Hurricane Michael Briefing
Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, briefs the media and Department of Defense about Hurricane Michael at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2018
Photo By: Master Sgt. Angelita Lawrence
VIRIN: 181010-D-HA938-0004A

Before the hurricane even made landfall, 2,216 active-duty personnel were in position, along with 32 helicopters, 240 high-water vehicles and 32 swift-water boats. Some 2,300 Florida National Guard members also have become actively engaged. As the storm progresses, that number will be increasing to support the demand for assistance, the general said.

Although Florida has endured many hurricanes in the past and has a robust capability for dealing with the storms, the federal government assists as part of the national response framework, O’Shaughnessy said.

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The Defense Department's preparations and efforts to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency and disaster relief efforts across states affected by Hurricane Michael are coordinated through North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Explore the resource items listed below for more information.

FEMA
A group of soldiers get briefed.
Hurricane Meeting
Members of Florida National Guard CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package prepare to help citizens in affected areas prior to landfall of Hurricane Michael.
Photo By: Ching Oettel
VIRIN: 181009-Z-NF376-022C
National Hurricane Center
A storm system swirls over the Florida panhandle in a satellite view.
Michael Image
Hurricane Michael satellite image, Oct. 10, 2018. NOAA image
Photo By: NOAA
VIRIN: 181010-O-ZZ999-101Y

National Guard Hurricane Response
A female soldier places backpacks on a truck.
Hurricane Packing
A member of Florida National Guard Enhanced Response Force Package prepare to help citizens in affected areas prior to landfall of Hurricane Michael, Starke, Fla., Oct. 9, 2018.
Photo By: Ching Oettel
VIRIN: 181009-Z-NF376-016C
DVIDS Hurricane Michael Feature Page
Two soldiers sit atop a green piece of equipment and look down at their work.
Florida Prep
Soldiers assigned to the Florida National Guard's 868th Engineer Company prepare equipment to move out from Live Oak, Fla., Oct. 9, 2018, to support Hurricane Michael recovery operations.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Carmen Fleischmann
VIRIN: 181009-Z-PO174-006C