While it may not be a hurricane, U.S. Northern Command here in Colorado Springs is preparing for a worst case scenario.
Part of the reason they’re doing that is because last year, after Hurricane Katrina, they came under a lot of scrutiny. Many people said that USNORTHCOM wasn't prepared for the situation. But, NORTHCOM can't provide support until they are asked to step in and help.
Major General William Webster with NORTHCOM said, "Knowing that this storm is going to touch a year after Katrina, we know that the mistakes will be minimized this year around."
The two most important were the ability to understand the damage and how to relay that information. In a teleconference call with homeland security, FEMA and other government agencies, preparations are already underway. MG Webster said, “We have loaded up a shipment of a million MREs (meals-ready-to-eat), water and ice. And, it’s moving toward bases in the southeast."
NORTHCOM said even if the storm is minor, this could be like a dress rehearsal, getting ready for the real thing. Hundreds will be at NORTHCOM, working around the clock the day Ernesto makes landfall.