Wisconsin National Guard members have been identified to provide support if requested as part of a FEMA Region V ground task force -- though the WI National Guard assets have not yet been officially requested.
"As our nation braces for this massive storm, Wisconsin is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. If resources are needed, Wisconsin stands ready to deploy the National Guard for assistance," Gov. Walker said.
The National Guard Bureau reports that more than 61,100 National Guard troops are available to assist civilian authorities supporting relief efforts in the impacted regions. Among the assets the National Guard can bring to the effort are nearly 140 helicopters for search and rescue, reconnaissance, and personnel/cargo transport missions.
General Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said the National Guard - as the nation's first military responder - is closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy and coordinating with federal, state and local partners in a cooperative effort to save lives, protect property and support recovery efforts.
"Units across the National Guard are making the necessary preparations to respond to the needs of any states affected by Hurricane Sandy. Rest assured the National Guard is poised and ready to provide proven responders and capabilities," Grass said.
Gale warnings are in effect along Lake Michigan as a result of the hurricane. Waves of 10 to 15 feet are expected along the coast tomorrow. In addition, WEM is in contact with state and local agencies to assess resources in the event any assistance is needed from other states during the response and recovery of the hurricane.