The West Virginia National Guard has 6,500 members. During a two-week period following the summer derecho, 750 were called in to help with recovery efforts.
"We have only a small number deployed overseas right now, so the bulk of our force is available should we need them."
While some work in the field, others help man the headquarters in Charleston and maintain communications with other units.
"Some of them are monitoring social media sites to see where people are saying they are having the most difficulty," Hoyer said.
Key to the guard efforts is the statewide microwave network system that enables headquarters to remain in touch with rural counties.
"We're relying heavily on that right now because of so many lines being down," Hoyer said. "I've got a shelter at an armory in Braxton County and some folks in Elkins where the only contact we've got is through that system.
"I've got guardsmen with handheld radios out in the field," he said. "We sent crews down Interstate 68 when it was shut down to stop and check on motorists.
"When all other communication systems fail, we always have communications with that system," he said. "Being able to talk to people and understand their needs is crucial to our response."
Today, the National Guard will focus more on damage assessment, working with FEMA to determine where government assistance is most needed.
"We stay in close contact with the governor so he has the most up-to-date information and can make the best decisions," Hoyer said.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.