As the hurricane season of 1992 approached, a massive tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Ocean in mid-August, and began slowly trekking toward the Florida coastline. Hurricane Andrew made landfall on 24 August 1992, just south of Miami Beach, and created a path of destruction across Dade County.
A Category 4 storm, packing winds upwards of 175 miles per hour, it virtually flattened the communities of Homestead and Florida City. Andrew would ultimately become the most expensive natural disaster in American history. More than 60 people were killed and scores more injured, 117,000 homes were destroyed or suffered major damage, some two million residents had to be temporarily evacuated. Flooding and high winds destroyed thousands of acres of crops. And overall estimates placed the storm’s cost at more than $20 billion.
Nearly 10,000 active duty soldiers (from Forts Bragg, Lee, Drum, and elsewhere) joined approximately 7,000 Florida National Guard soldiers on the scene in Florida.
As in past natural disasters, the cry for aid brought on by Andrew’s massive devastation saw Quartermasters join in the vanguard of relief workers -- setting up tents for the dispossessed, warehouse areas and supply distribution points, field feeding centers, and laundry and bath facilities. Supporting Victory on the home front.
Compiled by Dr. Steven Anders, former Quartermaster School historian
Event: Hurricane Andrew relief effort
Date: August - September 1992
"From DESERT STORM to the Chicago Flood to Hurricane Andrew -- your Army is there serving the nation. . . . We have been there since 1775, and we will be there 200 years from now."
- GEN Gordon R. Sullivan AUSA Speech (13 October 1992)