Members of the National Guard are being activated all along the East Coast to be ready in case civilians or first responders need their assistance in the aftermath of Winter Storm Stella’s assault on the Northeast.

According to the National Guard Bureau, as many as 1,700 guardsman have been activated as far south as Virginia to assist in each state’s multi-agency response to the storm.  While the objectives vary state by state, many in the guard are currently preparing to use Humvees, and light to medium tactical trucks in support of first responders or to evacuate civilians trapped in unsafe circumstances.  Other guard teams are preparing to assist in debris reduction using heavy equipment and chainsaws to clear roads.

“Once again, our soldiers have demonstrated their ability to safely and rapidly position troops and equipment at key locations so they are ready to assist citizens of the Commonwealth during times of hazardous weather,” said Major General Timothy P. Williams, the adjutant general of Virginia.

“Our emergency response partners at the state and local level count on our capabilities as part of the overall response plan, and we continue to demonstrate that we are a force that will always be there when we are needed. We also owe a special thanks to our families and employers for their support that is so vital to our success.”