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September is National Preparedness Month: Educate, prepare

National Preparedness Month

Disasters come in many forms: explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes and others. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany these disasters. Individuals, families and communities should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. (U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic)

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, providing an opportunity to remind Airmen to prepare friends and family throughout the year. This year’s theme is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” (U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The unpredictable Colorado weather can be daunting for some, but not if proper plans are in place to prevent harmful situations.

 

Paired with the historic hurricane season of 2017, followed by a series of destructive wildfires, it is more important than ever to be prepared for all hazardous situations.

 

September is National Preparedness Month, and this years’ theme is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.”

 

Staff Sgt. Aaron Harris, noncommissioned officer in charge of emergency management training and education with the 50th Civil Engineer Squadron, explained the purpose of National Preparedness Month is to disseminate information, helping the general public, and Schriever Airmen to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

 

“The tragedies of 9/11 truly highlighted the importance of being prepared for emergencies,” he added.

According to the Air Force Be Ready campaign website, there are three simple steps to prepare for potential disasters:


1. Get a Kit - 
Assemble a collection of first aid supplies, food, water, medicines and important papers, sustaining you and your family until the emergency passes.

2. Make a Plan - Family members may not be together when an emergency strikes. Planning ahead will improve your chances of keeping in touch, staying safe and quickly reuniting.

3. Be Prepared - Anticipate emergencies most likely to affect you and your family.

 

Harris added taking the necessary steps to get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts.

“Some would say, ‘prepare for the worst,’” he said. “Realistically, if a person has no emergency plan for themselves or their family, I would suggest to start by looking at the hazards in your area. As military members, we come from all over the country and some people may be inexperienced with winter weather hazards in Colorado.”

Harris said Schriever Airmen should use the month to do an inventory of their personal preparedness.

“Airmen should speak to family members and discuss hazards that may impact them,” he said. “Create emergency supply kits and be sure all insurance and essential documents are up to date.”

Airmen should also ensure they have updated contact information so in the event of an emergency, they can be properly notified by their chain of command.

 Harris explained setting aside emergency funds is a good starting point.

 “You really never know if you may have unforeseen costs during an emergency,” he said.

Additionally, Harris suggested preparing vehicles for inclement weather, including snow. 

“Keep an extra blanket and non-perishable food in your car just in case you get stranded,” he added.

Air Force Be Ready offers a mobile application, supporting the awareness campaign.

The app highlights key resources for a disaster or hazard emergency including a list of all threat information contained in the Air Force Emergency Preparedness Guide.

Customizable checklists and telephone number trackers ensure Airmen are as prepared as possible.

The mobile app is available through the Google application store and the iTunes app store.

Harris stressed the importance of informing fellow Airmen of potential disastrous situations, communicating risks and scenarios.

“Please spread the word. A lot of times, people may have an ‘it will never happen to me’ mentality,” he said. “We would just like people to take some time to look at and develop their plans just in case disaster strikes.”

For more information on National Preparedness Month, visit ready.gov or visit beready.af.mil/.

To speak with someone from the 50th CES regarding National Preparedness Month, call 567-6100.

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