NEWS | June 12, 2014

JB Charleston Emergency Management ensures hurricane safety a top priority

By Senior Airman George Goslin 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Get a kit, make a plan, be prepared. That is the message the Emergency Management flight has been pushing out to Joint Base Charleston as hurricane season begins.

"We are giving briefings to any members of the installation that wants information about hurricane preparedness, whether they are active duty, reservists, spouses or retirees," said Staff Sgt. Holly Whatley, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management craftsman. "We have a lot of people in the area who have never been through a hurricane and aren't accustomed to that type of natural disaster, so we try to make sure everyone knows how to better prepare themselves for it."

Emergency Management held town hall meetings on both the Air Base and Weapons Station to make sure everyone had the opportunity to get the information they needed. The briefings included recommendations for hurricane preparedness as well as education about the deadly storms in general.

To be ready for hurricane season, Whatley recommends, at a minimum, starting with an emergency contact plan consisting of phone numbers for doctors, family members and even hotels for evacuation purposes.

Create a family disaster plan discussing what to do in the event of a disaster so your family knows exactly what to do just in case the entire family isn't together at the time the hurricane strikes.
Finally, it's important to have a kit. You should have a kit for both your vehicle as well as your home and it should include:

· Water, two gallons of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
· Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
· Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· First aid kit
· Whistle to signal for help
· Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
· Tools, including a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
· Manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
· Local maps
· Cell phone with chargers
· Prescription medications and glasses
· Infant formula and diapers
· Pet food and extra water for your pet
· Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
· Family emergency contact information
· Cash or traveler's checks and change

Hurricane season runs until Nov. 30, so it's not too late to get started now. The National Weather Service predicts there may be up to nine named storms this year, but it only takes one to do significant damage.

For more information, visit the Joint Base Charleston website, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division at www.scemd.org, or www.Ready.gov.