TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – In the Volunteer state, it’s all about helping our neighbors, whether they’re in the town over or a few states over, the aftermath of Hurricane Ian is no different.
National Guard Maj. Trint Callison was on site of the Gray, Tennessee reserve center Wednesday evening. He and his team plan to dispatch to Florida as soon as possible.
“Tennessee is a well-versed state in disaster recovery,” National Guard Maj. Trint Callison said. “We’ve supported many different events from hurricane Katrina, through all the years until, actually, till this one.”
Callison said the Tennessee National Guard is preparing to send around 1200 soldiers and airmen to Florida with several hundred of those coming from East Tennessee. Once on the ground, Tennessee National Guard members will remove debris, work with food and water distribution and help out however needed.
Also on the list of people who’ve signed up to volunteer their time and efforts is the Director of Emergency Management for Sullivan County, Jim Bean. He’ll be working in the State of Emergency Operations Center, and more of his team is likely to be dispatched.
“We have a state-accredited water rescue team in the district that is on standby right now,” Bean said.
Bean said that even if staff gets called down to Florida, there will still be enough emergency officials in the Tri-Cities to respond if the area sees flooding this weekend. Local recovery teams are unsure of what they’ll be stepping into over the next few days, but they said they’re ready for the task at hand.
“We’re trying to live up to the name the Volunteer State, so people stepping up in our state to go down there is what we’re here for,” Bean said.