COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Top Pentagon, National Guard and federal emergency responders said Thursday their first-ever joint conference will help speed assistance to people before, during and after this season’s hurricanes.
“This allows us to tighten down our overall ability to respond to an event and get assistance to the local community,” said Gen. Victor Renuart, head of the U.S. Northern Command. “Citizens don’t care whether it is a civilian responder or a military responder, National Guard or active duty, they just need help.”
About 300 members of federal, state and military organizations met for three days at a conference on Hilton Head Island, trying to avoid the confusion that arose as Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. Representatives from 27 states attended, organizers said.