Although Ernesto is still a tropical storm, FEMA officials are already preparing for the worst case scenario, and they're using Fort Rucker as a base of operations.
A staff of about 400 people with National Defense Medical Systems is setting a staging area at Fort Rucker to provide emergency medical assistance in the aftermath of the storm.
The team is using about 18 large FEMA trucks filled with medical supplies, and says it is ready to relocate at a moment's notice in the event that Ernesto gains strength and causes a serious problem for south Florida.
"We're at a very good location. If the hurricane were to happen to go into the Gulf of Mexico and into the Panhandle, or this one looks like it's going to go into South Florida, we're in a good geographical location so that they can preposition their teams here, and then go where the storm leads them," said Commander Col. Scott Larese of Ft. Rucker Garrison.
FEMA officials say that team members are capable of treating up to 1,000 people per day, in the event of a natural disaster.