When dozens of tornados tore through the Midwest mid-November, the Coast Guard joined fellow responders with the National Guard and other state and local agencies to help the impacted communities. The six members of Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Peoria, Ill., are usually responsible for inspections and investigations activities along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. For the last two weeks, however, they have been going above and beyond their normal duties to help those in need.
The size and impact of Hurricane Sandy will be remembered for years to come and the significance of the storm will not be lost to the Coast Guard civilian volunteers who were part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Surge Capacity Force. Following Hurricane Katrina, a need was recognized for the federal government to be more responsive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Thus, the surge capacity force was created.