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News // Jun 4, 2021

2021 Hurricane and Fire Seasons Will Test Coast Guard and First Responders

  • Ron LaBrec

This week marks the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts will once again be above average. Similarly, wildfire experts predict a potentially devastating summer and fall due to a severe drought, an abundance of excess combustible vegetation, and other factors. This follows 2020’s record breaking hurricane and wildfire seasons with 30 named storms, 12 making landfall in the continental United States, and 52,113 wildfires burning 8,889,297 acres.

When these disasters occur, Coast Guard members are often first responders. -- leaving their own families and impacted homes and property behind to aid others in distress. “Serving in the Coast Guard comes with great sacrifices,” said Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation president. “Members and their families must be prepared for injury or loss in a different way than everyday Americans, and the Coast Guard Foundation is there wherever and whenever help is needed.”

The Coast Guard Foundation offers immediate relief to Coast Guard members who suffer uncovered losses due to natural disasters. We assess member and family needs, and make sure they quickly get resources to bounce back from the devastation. Knowing their families are cared for allows Coast Guard members to focus on serving their neighbors and rebuilding their communities.

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Members from Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Teams New Orleans, and MSST Kings Bay, conduct training in preparation for response operations during Hurricane Laura, near Mobile, Alabama, August 25, 2020. The units are qualified to conduct search-and-rescue operations as well as port security. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Nick Giancola

In 2020 the Coast Guard Foundation provided more than $300,000 in emergency relief to 153 families impacted by hurricanes, tropical storms, and wildfires. The Foundation has also sponsored a series of Family Readiness workshops for Coast Guard members living in hurricane-prone areas in prior years, helping them prepare their families should a storm impact their locations.

Following last year’s hurricane season, Rear Admiral John Nadeau and Master Chief Marques Johnson, who lead Coast Guard’s units on the Gulf Coast, expressed their thanks to Coast Guard Foundation donors in this video.

Support the Coast Guard Foundation's emergency relief efforts

Cover: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Brent Schiffer.

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