Local, national agencies partner with Coast Guard for hurricane exercise

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard is gearing up for hurricane season, which starts on June 1.

Coast Guard personnel and partner agencies participated in FEMA’s 2018 National Level Exercise, being held May 3 through May 9. These agencies are working to cover a variety of issues that could occur if a major hurricane hit Hampton Roads, and made its way toward Washington D.C.

Officials with the Coast Guard say that part of the reason for participating in this exercise is so that training occurs for hurricane response, ahead of region impact. FEMA training includes exercises for contingency plans, including evacuation procedures, incident management system and continuity of operations.

“We work with our partners to ensure our ports, waterways and units are prepared for the impacts of severe weather,” said Rear Adm. Meredith Austin, commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District. “This exercise has enabled us to practice our response with a whole-of-community approach that makes us all better able to serve the American people in the face of a natural disaster.”

Other agencies from the area that participated in the exercises include the National Guard’s Vigilant Guard, NORTHCOM’s Ardent Sentry and U.S. Fleet Forces Command’s Citadel Gale.

“Just like families are preparing for the 2018 hurricane season, the Coast Guard and its partners are too,” said Austin. “Please make a plan for your family in case you need to evacuate or shelter in place. If you’re a mariner, make sure you have a plan for your boat, too. This includes obtaining heavy weather mooring lines, stowing loose gear during hurricane season, and having a way to remove your boat from the water if possible.”

For tips on how to prepare you and your loved ones for this hurricane season, check out http://www.ready.gov.