Guard at ready for storm-related calls

Armories report no requests from municipalities yet

About 100 Wisconsin National Guard members were activated to respond to calls for assistance related to the storm. Soldiers are standing by at armories around the state.

Interim guard spokeswoman Capt. Kristin Boustany said Thursday that so far the National Guard has not received any calls from local municipalities. Calls from local authorities for assistance would include responding to stranded motorists along routes designated by the state Department of Transportation, assist in closing roads, and conducting welfare checks on those affected by the winter storm.

Boustany said the guard responds to emergency requests from Wisconsin municipalities that need additional help; the agency can then coordinate with the Wisconsin State Emergency Operations Center if assistance is needed to deploy the guard’s winter response teams. The Wisconsin guard does not respond to requests from citizens directly; requests bubble up from local authorities and the EOC.

“We stand ready to support if needed,” Boustany said.

Armories in Oconomowoc, Portage, Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Appleton, Beloit, Richland Center and Madison are staffed by guard members and serve as emergency shelters.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is cautioning against non-essential travel.