National Guard preps for emergencies

Published: Nov. 15, 2019 at 8:42 PM CST
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North Dakota's National Guard is carrying out drills over the weekend to be better prepared for blizzards this winter.

The guard has the personnel, they have the equipment, and after this weekend, they will have the training to better respond to whatever emergencies North Dakota might call on them to do.

These service members are responding to a fake blizzard to practice their response in case of a real one this winter.

"We want to get out there in our communities and working with everybody when we have a blizzard happen it's not our first time meeting these people and working together," said Maj. Shannon Horton, training excercise officer.

Command staff are working with emergency services to give everyone practice, issuing orders and commands, though no units are actually moving.

"We just really work hard to strengthen those relationships, and this is that effort to do that," said Col. Tad Schauer, military support director.

The guard rehearse every year for blizzards, floods, and fires to help the state solve those problems when they happen.

"The National Guard is there to support. We are not free. It comes with a cost. But when all other resources in the state are overwhelmed, we are there and we provide that capability," said Col. Schauer.

Schauer says the National Guard will deploy in order to prevent loss of life or great property damage.

The National Guard has a statewide exercise coming up in August called Vigilant Guard that will involve having boots on the ground working with local emergency services for a drill.