Mississippi National Guard
GULFPORT, Miss. - As Hurricane Gustav made its way towards the Gulf Coast Aug. 30, about 1,500 Soldiers of the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 155th Brigade Combat Team were here to assist in emergency support operations.
Gov. Haley Barbour had issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents along the coast, and the troops’ first order of business was to perform a ‘Knock’ mission -- going door-to-door conducting evacuation notification for families living in FEMA trailers, mobile homes, cottages and other small structures.
Soldiers advised residents to seek alternate shelter because of the threat of severe tropical weather.
“This notification is not to create a hardship for our citizens, but to help protect lives and property for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina,” said Maj. Gen. William L. Freeman, Jr., the adjutant general of Mississippi. “We are here to help the citizens of our state.”
Task force commander Brig. Gen. James B. Gaston, Jr., said Soldiers had notified about half of the residents in weak structures by 2 p.m., in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties.
“Many have already evacuated, however, we will continue to notify residents,” Gaston said.
A curfew was in force last night along the coast and will remain in force as 1,000 more troops are scheduled to arrive this weekend to support future missions.