Disaster preparedness
U.S. Army National Guardsman 1st Lt. Duncan Thompson from the 131 Armored Battalion Ozark, Ala., informs a motorist which gas pump to use while in Pascagoula, Miss., during humanitarian relief efforts in support of Joint Task Force Katrina, Sept. 3, 2005.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Aug. 20, 2008) - More than 100 emergency disaster preparedness officers and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear preparedness specialists from installations across the Army are meeting this week in Tampa, Fla., just as Hurricane Fay threatened to hit the Gulf Coast and caused trainers to come prepared for a real-life disaster.

From Aug. 18 to 21, participants at the Army Emergency Management's annual workshop for installation preparedness focused on everything from preparations for hurricanes to fires and other natural disasters, an influenza pandemic and a terrorist attack, said conference spokeswoman Trish Powell, from Battelle Corp's Crystal City operations in Virginia.

Powell said Army officials will announce the launch of Ready Army, previously a one-year pilot program that tested the effectiveness of current messaging systems and techniques for the Army in Wiesbaden and Ansbach, Germany as well as at Fort Hood, Texas.

Earlier, in March, during Ready Army Week, Fort Hood emergency preparedness personnel worked with city officials of nearby Killeen to distribute emergency preparedness information, Powell added.

The message was simple: "It's about personal preparedness, to be prepared for the first 72 hours after an emergency situation occurs," she said. "We want people to consider how they'll notify their families and where they'll meet.

"It's all about the multiple disasters we could face that could disrupt lives," she continued. The bottom line is that preparedness increases the resiliency of America's fighting forces and supports Soldiers who are forward deployed.

"We do this so our Soldiers downrange can feel comfortable that their families are being well taken care of at home," Powell said. "It frees them up to focus on what they need to focus on in combat."

Page last updated Wed August 20th, 2008 at 11:42