CHARLESTON, W.Va. —
At the direction of Governor Jim Justice, West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) and the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) are preparing for potential widespread flooding across the Mountain State in conjunction with various other state agencies.
Beginning Feb. 12, 2020, the WVNG will identify and place three liaison teams (LNO), four Community Assistance Teams (CATs), and one medical evacuation flight crew on a four-hour recall. LNO teams consist of two personnel; CAT teams consist of six personnel and two HMMWVs.
If activated, LNOs will integrate in county emergency operations centers (EOC) and will work alongside county emergency managers and EOC directors to conduct damage assessments, develop action plans and determine what National Guard assets are available and that can be used for recovery operations. Community Assistance Teams will provide personnel and vehicles capable of traversing high water and will be available to assist local communities with various needs in the event of an emergency.
The West Virginia National Guard Swift Water Rescue Team (SWRT), in conjunction with Clendenin and Glasgow Volunteer firefighters, will also be available on a four-hour recall in the event West Virginia citizens need rescued in a high water situation. The SWRT was formed after lesson learned from the 2016 flood.
The WVDHSEM and WVNG will continuously monitor weather and hydrology reports while working hand-in-hand with agencies at the State level for planning purposes.
“Our West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen stand ready to respond to the needs of our state as we continue to deal with the impacts of these storm systems,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “We train daily for these types of operations and are the best this Nation has to offer as a homeland response force in the event of a state emergency.”