How to stop the next disaster from ever happening again: The next hurricane
The next time a hurricane or tropical storm hits a state, the US military is prepared.
The military has spent $6 billion since 2011 on hurricane preparedness programs, and the US Department of Defense has deployed about 3,000 soldiers and a few hundred Marines to the Gulf Coast.
But the Pentagon is only planning to deploy 1,500 soldiers and Marines to Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi over the next year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
There’s also a lack of resources.
The US military has not been able to build a new facility in South Florida, where the Gulf coast is located.
There is a shortage of housing for soldiers, according, the Army’s Fort Hood Command.
And even though the US has been preparing for Hurricane Irma, it hasn’t begun its preparations for a next-gen storm like the one we saw in 2017.
“It’s a big thing to get ready for,” said Army Capt. John Williams, a military spokesman for the Fort Hood command.
“A lot of the preparation that we do is in-house, and that includes our logistics, training, logistics, logistics and other activities.”
For the next few weeks, the military is looking to get the ball rolling with its hurricane prepared plan.
Army commanders are working with local officials and the federal government to get a federal disaster declaration in place before a hurricane is expected to hit.
If that doesn’t happen, then there will be no military presence in the Gulf, and residents of those states will be left without a backup.
But even with a federal declaration, many states still don’t have the resources to prepare for hurricanes.
“If we’re looking at Florida, if we’re talking about Texas, we’re not doing enough,” said Williams.
“I think that’s why we’ve had to do this so much in Florida.”
The military is already preparing for a potential future hurricane.
Last week, the Navy sent three new helicopters to the Florida Keys, where Irma was forecast to strike.
The Navy is planning to send a second fleet of four helicopters to Mississippi, a state that has already received two additional ships for its hurricane preparation.
And with the state of Louisiana having already received three ships for hurricane preparations, the service will soon have another fleet of two helicopters in the area.
And the military says it has already deployed four more helicopters to Texas, and two more to Alabama.