MEDCOM and "Ready Army" Program Prepare Families for Active Storm Season
June 4, 2013
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1, while the eastern Pacific hurricane season began May 15th. The U.S. hurricane season ends November 30th.
Seasonal hurricane forecasters have released early reports of an "above-average" hurricane season, with 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes predicted in 2013. According to the April 10 report from the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, it only takes one hurricane to make landfall for an active season to begin, and citizens need to prepare for every season regardless of how much or little activity is predicted.
"The MEDCOM Emergency Management Office works diligently with Headquarters Army to insure Command personnel and their Families have the latest Army Emergency Management information to help them in increasing their readiness and resiliency when it comes to weathering hurricane and severe weather events," said Jose P. Sosa, MEDCOM emergency manager.
As the 2013 storm season becomes more ominous, Ready Army is the Army's proactive campaign to increase the resilience of the Army community and enhance the readiness of the force by informing Soldiers, their Families, Army Civilians and contractors of relevant hazards and encouraging them to Build a Kit, Make A Plan, and Be Informed.
"This office researches and mines other federal agencies' electronic libraries and data bases for timely and current literature that MEDCOM can leverage and publish for field emergency managers' use," said Sosa. "Army Medicine is poised to educate and prepare MEDCOM personnel and the community for potential emergencies that could have devastating effects on our homes and livelihood."
Emergencies affect hundreds of people every year. One may hit your installation and community and affect you and your Family. When emergencies occur, military and civilian organizations respond, but it takes time to mobilize, and they focus on the most critical needs first.
Findings of a 2009 Personal Preparedness Survey conducted by the Citizen Corps, a program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), found that fewer than half of people surveyed (42%) had practiced a workplace evacuation drill, and only 14 percent had participated in a home evacuation drill. Additionally, of those in school or with children in school, only 23% had participated in a school evacuation drill. The numbers are much lower for shelter in place drills, reflecting 27, 10, and 14 percent respectively of individuals reporting.
Through outreach and education, Ready Army calls our Army community to action and aims to create a culture of preparedness that will save lives and strengthen the nation.
Ready Army seeks to inform the Army community of all hazards and to provide targeted preparedness information to Soldiers, their Families, Civilians and contractors worldwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Preparedness and Response website is CDC's primary source of information and resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. This site continues to keep the public informed about public health emergencies and provides the information needed to protect and save lives before, during and recovering from a natural disaster and severe weather events. This handout from MEDCOM Emergency Manager is a series of updates that will assist in preparing Medical Command and Subordinate Major Commands prepare U.S. Army Medical Command Soldiers, Families, Civilians and contractors for the upcoming 2013 Hurricane Season.
In some cases, the Secretary of Defense will direct all DOD-affiliated personnel in the affected area to report their accountability status as soon as possible. When this happens, if you have access to the Internet you are to report your status online through the Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPAAS). ADPAAS provides a way for Army personnel (Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard, Civilian employees, some contractors (e.g., OCONUS)) and their Families in the disaster-affected area to report their status. All Army sponsors and Family members should be listed in DEERS.
It also provides commanders a means to assess the impact of the disaster on Soldiers and their Families to provide assistance where needed. You may also report your situation through your chain of command or by using one of the established call centers or hotlines listed below.
Are you and your Family ready for an emergency? Failure to prepare can put yourself, your Family and your property in jeopardy! It's up to you. Prepare strong.