WASHINGTON — More than 150 members of the North Carolina National Guard gathered in Raleigh this month, with the damage from Hurricane Florence in 2018 still on their minds.
On a 40-foot map of the state, they began moving North Carolina's guard units around like chess pieces, to set the order of battle for the next major storm.
"We go through the timetable of a major hurricane hitting," said North Carolina National Guard spokesman Army Lt. Col. Matt DeVivo. The units looked at preparedness five days out. Then two days out. Then landfall, to see "what will be mobilized, what we lack in capability" and what worked last time, he said.
Last year's hurricanes were particularly destructive for some of the military's most critical bases. In response, active, reserve and National Guard forces have looked at lessons learned to better prepare for this year's hurricane season, which starts June 1, even as they wait for federal funding to fix all the damage from last year.
Officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are working to determine the extent of the damage done by a major storm system, including several suspected tornadoes, that hit the Dayton area Monday night.
Officials have so far determined that approximately 150 houses in an off-base, privatized housing area were damaged, as well as numerous vehicles, according to base spokeswoman Marie Vanover.
"A handful of the homes were significantly damaged" in the Prairies at Wright Field housing area, Vanover said Tuesday in an email. "Work crews are on site to help clear the area and continue their damage assessment."