Civil Air Patrol prepared for hurricane season - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Civil Air Patrol prepared for hurricane season

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June 18, 2008

Albany -- From inland search and rescue missions to counter narcotics, the Civil Air Patrol takes on many different roles. But with experts calling for an active 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, volunteers with the Albany Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol are prepared to provide support if and when a hurricane makes land fall.

"At that time, we'll start mobilizing our people, our aircrafts, our ground teams. We have 15 aircraft in Georgia that is equipped to do damage assessment, pictures and communications," says Lt. Col Marl McCracken.

McCracken and other members of CAP's Georgia Wing recently participated in a hurricane exercise over Savannah. Here, they used mapping devices and cameras to take aerial photographs of critical infrastructure such as dams, bridges, and highways that can be severely damaged during and after a major storm.

If a hurricane was to make landfall in Georgia, local Civil Air Patrol auxiliaries would be on the front line of providing assistance to local and state agencies. But with Mother Nature often unpredictable, CAP goes wherever they are needed.

"We've been on Hurricane Katrina. We've been down to Florida on their hurricanes. We've participated in some exercises in Alabama and Tennessee. We're not just restricted to Georgia, we'll go wherever we're needed," says McCracken.

While aerial damage assessment is perhaps the most critical role of the Civil Air Patrol after a major storm, its ground work can be just as important.

"We have ground teams that go in and assist door-to-door searches. We'll also go in and help them move food around. Our aircraft can move supplies in. We can critical blood in, parts, medical supplies. We have on occasion even moved people around."

The Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and has over 56,000 members, including 22,000 young cadets. If you would like learn more about the Civil Air Patrol and volunteer opportunities, click on the link below.

Civil Air Patrol

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