Westover ARB could serve as FEMA staging base for Tropical Storm Michael

Hampden County

Tropical Storm Michael continues to cause widespread damage in the southeastern part of the U.S. 

Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee has been used as a FEMA staging base in the past for hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

Hurricane Michael was the most powerful hurricane to ever strike Florida’s panhandle when it hit Wednesday. 

About 130 miles per hour winds destroyed buildings and tore roofing from aircraft hangars at the Tyndall Air Force Base outside Panama City, Florida. 

Westover Air Reserve Base serves as an incident support base and a deployment site for FEMA when responding to natural disasters.

“If FEMA were to stage, whether they are doing an incident support base or a deployment like last year in hurricane Irma and Maria,” said Robert Perreault, FEMA liaison at Westover Air Reserve Base. “Then they would coordinate through me and we would work details that way.”

Perreault told 22News Westover’s close proximity to the coastline makes the base a great staging area for FEMA.  

He said FEMA sent search and rescue teams from Westover to Puerto Rico last year to help in the Hurricane Maria recovery effort. 

Perreault said it’s likely FEMA will use Westover again as a deployment site for Tropical Storm Michael. 

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