With hurricane season just around the corner, US Northern Command says they are more ready than ever for what could be another busy season.
Last year, USNORTHCOM was criticized for not reacting to Hurricane Katrina quickly enough, but the agency can only react to a natural disaster if the President or Secretary of Defense asks for help. That's because they only have a supporting role when it comes to natural disasters.
NORTHCOM Commander, ADM Timothy Keating said the agency is trying to take lessons observed and turn it into lessons learned so mistakes aren’t repeated. Some of those lessons learned are more cooperation with other federal agencies, and assessing the hurricane damage early on, so they know what residents are in desperate need of, like food, water and shelter. “If the infrastructure is destroyed, we will bring in our own cell phone towers and pass out cell phones to all the people, hundreds of phones,” ADM Keating said.
In fact, NORTHCOM has created what they call pre-scripted mission assignments, which means they have a handbook of possible scenarios and how to deal with those emergency situations.