National Disaster Preparedness focuses on planning

| September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Ready Army materials are set on display for community members to take home. The campaign provides targeted preparedness information to Soldiers, family members and civilians worldwide. (Photo by Erinn Burgess)

U.S. Army Aviation
Center of Excellence
Public Affairs Office

September is National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” (Graphic courtesy of U.S. Army)

FORT RUCKER, Alabama — As Hurricane Irma was continuing on its destructive path, officials, here, were urging preparedness to help people remain safe during the severe weather events.

An unruly Mother Nature can devastate lives and property; however, people can lessen their vulnerability to disaster through preparation, according to Willie Worsham, Fort Rucker emergency manager.

September is National Preparedness Month, and the South is no stranger to rough weather, so Worsham wants to make sure people are as ready as they can be for when it hits.

“This month serves as a reminder that people should prepare now, and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect them where they live, work and also where they visit. With the landfall of Hurricane Harvey just two weeks ago, and Hurricane Irma now, we see the importance of being ready,” Worsham said.

“This year’s theme, ‘Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can,’ will continue to emphasize preparedness for youth, older adults and people with disabilities, and others with access and functional needs. Each week throughout the month focuses on a different theme, including floods, wildfires, hurricanes and power outages,” he said.

For many areas, tornadoes traditionally increase during the fall months, but other dangers like thunderstorms, lightning and flooding can accompany them, said Worsham.

“The key to successfully navigating Mother Nature’s nastiness is preparedness,” he said. “Make sure that you have a plan.”

Worsham suggests that people visit the Ready Army website, which has all sorts of information on what to expect, how to make a kit and how to prepare for severe weather seasons and even hurricane season.

Don’t wait; communicate before an emergency. Make a family emergency plan today. (Photo/graphic courtesy of FEMA)

•Be informed. Many emergencies, like power outages, disease outbreaks and manmade accidents can happen anywhere. But certain disasters are more likely in some places than others.

Ready Army recommends understanding the local mass warning systems that officials will use to inform people about weather conditions.

Part of being informed is knowing how to receive information from these agencies, said the emergency manager, adding that it is a good idea to have a backup way of receiving information in case a primary system goes down.

Being informed also means knowing where evacuation points are located in the event individuals and families cannot get home or their current location becomes unsafe.

Ready Army suggests people also know what circumstances would require evacuation and when to shelter in place.

Accountability is a key part of the Army, and in a disaster this does not change. People should know the way they will contact their unit and receive instructions in the event of a disaster.

•Make a plan. Ready Army suggests that people keep their plans practical and tuned to likely disasters that they might face. People should take the information they learned in the first step and talk about what their family plan is in each different disaster scenario.

People should take into account how they will react if it is a weekend, as opposed to a workday, if their children are at school, or if an evacuation is ordered and sheltering in place is no longer an option.

•Build a kit. A kit is nothing more than the supplies that individuals and their families will need over a three-day period. That is the estimated time it might take to clear roads, restore power or have emergency crews reach people.

After a disaster, emergency responders will address critical needs first and might not be able to get to people right away. A disaster kit will allow people to take care of themselves and their families, freeing up emergency responders to focus on the critically injured and restoring infrastructure. Ready Army suggests people have multiple kits in different locations, like their car, office and home, because they never know where they will be when disaster strikes.

•Get involved. The Army has joined the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency in America’s PrepareAthon! – a nationwide campaign to increase emergency preparedness and community resilience.

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Category: Education, News

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