The Coast Guard is preparing assets throughout the Gulf states for the arrival of Hurricane Rita, which is expected to reach the Gulf Coast later
The Coast Guard is making strategic shifts in personnel resources while others are conducting overdue maintenance to aircraft used to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Coast Guard crews are pre-positioning search and rescue, pollution response, and aids to navigation assets inland for post storm response. Disaster Area Response Teams (DART) departed from Metairie, La. and will be standing by in Houston to provide relief in the event of a disaster. Coast Guard units in Texas are conducting pre-storm video surveys of areas that potentially lay in the path of Rita. The surveys will assist in rescue and recovery efforts to those areas affected by the storm.
The Coast Guard also cautioned mariners of the upcoming storm and is urging them to heed the weather warnings and small craft advisories. An advisory has also been issued to evacuate all oil rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico that may potentially be in the path of Rita.