Coast Guard Gulf Coast region units prepare for Gustav

NEW ORLEANS – Coast Guard units throughout the Gulf Coast are preparing to respond quickly to ensure search and rescue, environmental response, and recovery of the ports and waterways missions are met as Tropical Storm Gustav approaches.

Coast Guard units will relocate starting as early as Friday, to ensure continuity of service and that personnel and equipment are prepared to be brought back into affected areas quickly.

Personnel, aircraft and vessels needed to conduct day-to-day operations as well as to respond to the hurricane will be moved out of the strike zone and extra assets throughout the Coast Guard nationwide have been identified to deploy into the affected areas.

“Hurricane preparedness is a year round effort for the Coast Guard,” said Rear Adm. Joel Whitehead, commander the Eighth Coast Guard District which encompasses 26 states including Louisiana and Mississippi. “Our units prepare by participating in interagency drills and constant training.”

The Coast Guard has worked with other federal, state and local government agencies and industry partners to improve the integration of response plans and communications. The Coast Guard, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA , the barge industry and regional pilot organizations have outlined plans for post hurricane waterway surveys to expedite the safe reopening of critical waterways.

The Coast Guard reminds the public to keep a close watch on the storm as it approaches, pay attention to safety announcements from the government, and to listen to any evacuation notices that are given.

A public affairs webpage has been created and can be found at: www.uscgstormwatch.com

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