Chief Petty Officer Paul Taylor, a marine science technician, oversees vessel operations at Pitts Bayou in Panama City, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Krug.

Clean-up crew: Facing aftermath from one of Florida’s most destructive hurricanes

The Florida Panhandle experienced pure devastation from Hurricane Michael, Oct. 10, 2018. It ripped through coastal towns and made its way inland, driving people from their homes and leaving thousands without power and fresh water. Relief efforts from federal and state agencies, as well as local and out-of-state volunteers, responded to help displaced survivors. The Coast Guard set up an Incident Command Post in Miramar Beach, Florida, in an effort to remove environmental threats from local waterways.


Members of the disaster relief volunteer crew from Coast Guard Station Panama City, Fla., pose for a group photo with local resident, Mr. Clause, after assisting with clean up after Hurricane Michael. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Dragin.

Standing in the gap: Station Panama City

With ingenuity and no small degree of resourcefulness, Kannan and a small crew of station personnel managed to put together a disaster response trailer to get out to Coast Guard members’ homes to assess the damage. It didn’t take long to figure out how extensive the damage was and quickly set out to assist the city in helping residents. The recovery process continues but the crews have made a big impact so far.


A neighborhood outside Panama Beach City, Fla., recovers after Hurricane Michael tore through the area in October 2018. Courtesy photo.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. j.g. Aaron Black

Lt. j.g. Aaron Black answered the call for help when a shipmate he had only met once asked for help after Hurricane Michael tore through his neighborhood outside Panama City Beach, Florida. Black and other officers from Coast Guard flight school in Pensacola brought tools, fuel, water and food, and helped patch four roofs, cleared debris and damaged trees from the roads and yards. Black and his team’s selfless acts and tireless dedication made a true impact to his shipmate and others in the neighborhood.