SAVANNAH, Ga. – With Hurricane Irma inching closer to the landfall in the United States, the United States Coast Guard is taking extra measures to ensure the safety of its personal and the citizens it serves.
Air Station Savannah is currently choosing to “batten down the hatches” in securing its facilities and making sure buoys are in place before the storm hits.
On site preparations are taking place just as crews have just returned from Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey relief and rescue efforts.
While the station will continue to operate with a minimum crew during the worst of the storm, the guard is currently making plan to evacuate the necessary crew and aircraft to western Georgia and Alabama for safety.
“We are planning for the worst case scenario,” Lt. Andrew Moravec said.
After the storm passes, crews will make their way back to Savannah to assist with any rescue missions.
Moravec told WSAV there are plans in place to bring in additional helicopters and service members to assist with Savannah’s effort.
Protecting and preserving human life, commerce, and Coast Guard facilities, in that order, are the guard’s main orders.
Moravec stresses people should not consider Irma on the same level as Hurricane Matthew which blew through the area less than a year ago.
“If an evacuation order is given, I’d highly recommend evacuating if you can safely do so, I plan on sending my wife and the little ones away and getting them out of the area,” he said.
While the Guard stresses anyone to evacuate who can, it also wants the general public to know that should there be an emergency where the Coast Guard is needed people can call channel 16 which acts as a distress, calling and safety channel for boaters. Also there is the ability to call 911 if needed for a rescue involving a basket or guardsman.