Hurricane season is here, and preparedness is important for avoiding stress during hazardous times. Part one of this hurricane readiness series provided two tips for hurricane readiness: identifying the most effective mode of communication and creating a disaster preparedness kit. To read this article, visit www.paraglideonline.net.
Additionally, having a Family communication plan is imperative in case of a natural disaster, according to Calvin McKenzie, plans and operation specialist, Fort Bragg Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
“Identify an out-of-state contact and an in-state contact, because as you know, during a hazard, the phone lines may be down or they may be busy, so it’s good to contact someone out of state,” he said.
All the Family members would then contact that out-of-state individual to provide and receive status updates on each other while they are separated.
McKenzie also emphasized the importance of staying informed about what hazards Families can expect during a hurricane. For example, these storms also bring floods and tornadoes, so having a pre-planned response to mitigate these dangers can help prevent undue hardship.
The Fort Bragg Emergency Management Team’s last recommendation is to get involved. Those who have elderly neighbors should check on them after the storm. Individuals can also enroll in Community Emergency Response Team training, which is offered for free at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
“It involves first aid (and) assisting the fire department prior to them getting there,” said McKenzie. “If there’s a hazard, you know EMS (emergency management services) will probably be tied up, so you can do those small things, like you’ve got a tree across the road, you can clear that.”
Those who live on the installation may also have access to a shelter, depending on the storm’s severity.
“Once we set it up … we will open it up and people on the installation can go there, like (if) the spouse is deployed and you have Family members at home who don’t really feel safe, then they can go to that shelter,” McKenzie explained.
If there is a severe weather emergency, the Fort Bragg EMT will open a 1-800 number to provide updates. They would push this number out to the community through the Fort Bragg and Paraglide social media accounts and websites.
Although they may seem like tedious tasks, these preparations will benefit all who use them, advised McKenzie.
“It falls in that category of it’s best to have it and not need it than need it and not have it,” he said. “The more prepared you are, the less stressful an event like that will be.”
(Editor’s note: This article originally ran in the July 6 edition of the Paraglide. However, with the current State of Emergency in North Carolina and possibility of Hurricane Irma coming up the coast, we at the Paraglide felt it was important to publish the information again. For up-to-date information about Hurricane sIrma, Jose and Katia, visit http://www.noaa.gov/ or http://www.weather.gov/.)