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NEWS | July 5, 2006

Team Charleston gears up for hurricane season

By Airman 1st Class Sam Hymas 437 AW Public Affairs

Hurricane Steven, a category 3 hurricane, smashed through Charleston Tuesday although some Airmen may not have felt the wind and rain.

Hurricane Steven was a training exercise designed to test Team Charleston's effectiveness in responding to the tropical natural disasters.

"With hurricanes in Charleston, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when and we need to be ready for it," said David Hunt, 437th Airlift Wing Inspector General Office readiness and inspections chief.

When an exercise begins, both the crisis action team, consisting of senior base leadership, and the emergency operations center, made up of representatives from first-responder agencies, are activated. Also, group and unit control centers are activated to help disseminate information to base Airmen and their families.

At the CAT, base leaders follow quick-response checklists.

"The Plans Office guides senior base leadership through QRCs during emergency events so they can make decisions for the wing and the base," said Maj. Laura Radley, 437 AW plans augmentee.

The exercise gave the base a chance to make sure checklists and recall rosters were up to date and effective, Mr. Hunt said.

"While the wing has its checklists, everyone is responsible for ensuring their own families are prepared in the event of a hurricane," said Mr. Hunt.