Several Connecticut organizations are attempting to aid evacuation and rescue efforts as Hurricane Florence threatens to make landfall on the coast of the Carolinas.
Ten Connecticut National Guard soldiers deployed to Tennessee Wednesday, aboard UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters, preparing to support those in need in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane.
The crew and equipment will stage in the area to help cut down on the response time required to provide assistance once the immediate damage from the storm is apparent.
“In Connecticut, we know how firsthand what it’s like to experience extraordinary weather events, and we know how important the help of neighbors can be during recovery,” said Governor Dannel Malloy in a statement. “The men and women of the Connecticut National Guard are among the most well-trained and well-prepared in the country, and I thank them for dropping everything at a moment’s notice so that we can assist our neighbors to our south with what is looking like will become a devastating situation.”
Meanwhile, a Connecticut organization is assisting in the emergency communications effort by sending HAM radios to the Southeast.
The National Association for Amateur Radio has sent seven kits to South Carolina. David Isgur is a spokesman for the ARRL, based in Newington.
“They can certainly be used without power and if cell phones and landlines go down,” he explained.
Isgur said that his organization provided HAM radios to Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria hit last year and even deployed volunteers to aid communications during the relief effort. “One of the things that amateur radio operators and an organization like ARRL prides itself on is providing public service and doing communication in times of emergencies and disasters.”
Stamford-based nonprofit Americares is deploying a response team to North Carolina, in support of immediate health needs in the wake of the storm.
“The storm is on track to make a direct hit on the East Coast and impact much of the southern United States in the coming days,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Brian Scheel. “Our response team has been activated and is ready to meet the immediate health needs in affected communities.”
The health-focused relief and development organization is also contacting partner health clinics in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia with offers of assistance.
Americares is prepared to deliver emergency medicines and relief supplies, including supplies for displaced families, as well as provide support to damaged health clinics.
The Red Cross is also marshalling Connecticut-based volunteers and emergency response vehicles to provide relief including serving meals to those displaced by the storm.