by Senior Airman Diana M. Cossaboom
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/15/2015 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- September
is National Preparedness Month, and Air Combat Command encourages
Airmen, civilians and their families to be prepared for emergencies and
disasters at all times.
This year's theme is "Don't wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan
today," and each week of the month is dedicated to different focuses
that can help keep families and Airmen prepared for crises.
At Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron
emergency management team is conducting several events to promote
preparedness, including providing an information booth and visiting
various schools throughout September.
"National Preparedness Month is a month that we look at different
natural disasters that can happen in the area and a way to prepare the
local personnel on actions to take," said Senior Airman Michaela Baker,
20th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman.
There are a number of natural disasters people can experience, including
hurricanes, flooding, thunderstorms, tornadoes and extreme heat or
extreme cold -- depending on the season.
Some preparedness tips provided by emergency management include:
- Know the hazards that occur in the area.
- Learn the evacuation routes and shelter locations.
- Have an emergency or disaster kit ready and know how to use it.
- Know how to reconnect with people following an emergency.
- Learn emergency skills including how to use a fire extinguisher and first aid.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in 2014, a total
of 84 disasters were declared and 45 of them were declared as a major
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail," said Staff Sgt. Catrina
Rouse, 20th CES emergency management craftsman. "Any kind of
preparation you can do before something actually happens is always
Emergency management suggests the following to be put into an emergency kit:
- Emergency contact numbers
- Vet records for pets
- Non-perishable food
- A gallon of water per person, per day
- A couple changes of clothes
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with extra bulbs
- Games to keep children entertained
- Manual can opener
"We suggest packing anything you would need to keep yourself
comfortable, but not too much where you can't carry it around," Rouse
The command also encourages people to keep their personal contact
information up to date to ensure they receive pertinent ACC and
base-specific notifications in a timely manner.
Emergencies and disasters can happen at a moment's notice. Staying
prepared can not only make things easier and less stressful during
traumatic times, but could potentially save lives and keep families
together and safe.