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8,000 in Air, Army National Guard prepare for Dorian

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – With mandatory evacuations underway from Florida to the Carolinas, Hurricane Dorian continues its slow march along the southeast coast of the U.S.

Nearly 8,000 Air and Army National Guard professionals are on duty in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina preparing for the storm.

At the National Guard Coordination Center outside of D.C., the guard is tracking the storm and coordinating disaster relief. Officials say this is where Army and Air National Guard members closely monitor storms and other emergencies.

“This center essentially fuses information that we receive 24/7, 365,” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Burkett, Vice Director of Domestic Operations for the National Guard Bureau.

Brigadier General Jeffrey Burkett said the National Guard is on alert and ready to help communities affected by Dorian. As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 8,000 soldiers and airmen have been activated and are managing resources on the ground and in the air.

“We coordinate with other states to provide supporting efforts if required. We are supporting by facilitating the movement of helicopters from one state to another,” he said.

The National Guard Coordination Center works with state, local and federal agencies on response efforts. Burkett says keeping people safe is a team effort that also includes those in the path of the storm following evacuation warnings.

“At the end it’s going to save lives, resources and time in the recovery effort.”

The National Guard said it has a force of over 450,000 ready to go wherever they’re needed.