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National Guard on alert over blackout

September 8, 2011 |  8:33 pm

Segments of the California National Guard were placed on alert Thursday night that they needed to be ready to mobilize immediately if called upon by communities affected by the power outage.

Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, adjutant general of the California Guard, ordered the alert of the Guard's Quick Reaction Forces, or QRFs.

 PHOTOS: Blackout leaves millions without power

"We alerted our forces of possible call-up -- to put people on notice that there may be an activation," Maj. Thomas Keegan said in an interview from the Guard's Sacramento headquarters.

Keegan said "agile and flexible" Guard troops were placed on a formal "heightened state of alert" that would allow for an immediate reaction if conditions worsen. For example, Keegan said, Guard troops might be called upon to provide security, assist in medical emergencies or move patients if hospitals cannot provide adequate care.

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Map: Areas affected by the outage are bordered in red. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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