Agencies prepare for hurricane season with disaster drills

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The National Guard, as well as state and local agencies, are gearing up this weekend to help save lives in the event of an emergency.

It may seem like an actual emergency, but it's all practice. The groups will be in the Westlake and Lake Charles areas this weekend for disaster drills.

"It makes us better, it makes us a lot better at what we need to do when that day does come," said Colonel Keith Waddell.

The full-scale exercises are in the water, air and land.

"They're going to do what soldiers do," Waddell said. "They're prepared and they're ready anytime and anywhere to support the citizens of Louisiana."

And when it comes to the soldiers, they said these practice operations are crucial for success.

"Through these are dry exercises, they're invaluable for when we're responding to a real world crisis," said Jeremy White, a guardsman.

But behind the scenes of the missions, are all of the agencies that will work with the National Guard in case of an emergency in Southwest Louisiana.

"We've been through a lot of training and coordination meetings with them, but today we actually get to come out here and train and get ready in the event that something real world does happen," said Waddell.

"This gives us practice so we can see where we are weak at and so we can train a little better on those areas so we can be more proficient once hurricane season kicks off in June," said guardsman Jared Maze.

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