National Guard ready to step in this Hurricane Season

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) Horry County leaders and local law enforcement met with members of the South Carolina National Guard to go over what's going to happen if an evacuation is issued.

A group of guard members are in Horry County completing on-site training where the skills learned at the base are put to the test in an environment that replicates real-life missions. These missions can vary, but Tuesday's focus was on helping Horry County during hurricane operations.

This training also gives Guard members the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the area. According to Major Stan O'Neal, having this knowledge becomes crucial if they're called in to help with hurricane evacuations.

After Tuesday's meeting, Maj. O'Neal says he's confident the guard is prepared to respond. "My units are ready. All the soldiers are ready. We just got to get the call," said Maj. O'Neal.

Horry County Emergency Management Deputy Director Carissa Medeiros says the county relies on the National Guard for support when a hurricane hits. The emergency management team meets with the Guard every year to cover expectations and capabilities.

Face to face meetings help strengthen the county's relationship with the National Guard and help iron out concerns ahead of a potential evacuation emergency.

During Tuesday's meeting, representatives for emergency management along with county police, fire rescue and Myrtle Beach Police, paid extra attention to the new evacuation guidelines. Medeiros says the county looks to the Guard as one of the most important assets it has when it comes to responding to any kind of disaster.

"We have built great partnerships with the National Guard. It's so important because we know as a county we won't have all the resources we need to support our community when there is a disaster. We can always lean on our local military and the Army National Guard for that," said Medeiros.

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