Ready Army

In spite of the devastation and personal tragedy caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita several years ago, a report by the Council for Excellence in Government and the American Red Cross shows that Americans remain unprepared for disaster, natural or man-made.

Even with the recent flooding in the Midwest and Florida, and the infernos that have blazed through the West, most citizens believe that a disaster will never affect them personally.

Recent severe weather incidents and similar forecasted patterns in the Wiregrass region remind us how vulnerable we are when Mother Nature turns on her wrath. Although we cannot control the weather, Fort Rucker commanders are doing everything possible to help prepare community members for potential disasters-natural and man-made.

Several post organizations have teamed to promote the Ready Army program during the month of September to coincide with the Department of Homeland Security's
National Preparedness Month and Ready.gov program. The Ready Army emergency preparedness campaign theme is "Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed." It identifies the steps vital to emergency preparedness. These steps include getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, becoming informed about potential emergency situations, and getting involved in community preparedness and response efforts.

"National Preparedness Month is an important reminder about each American's civic responsibility to prepare for emergencies," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Those with the capacity and wherewithal to help themselves must do so in advance, so that in the event of an emergency, responders can first assist those who are unable to tend to themselves. From wildfires and earthquakes in California, to hurricanes and tropical storms along the Gulf Coast, to flooding in the Midwest, recent events remind us more than ever that we must prepare ourselves and our families for a disaster. This is the time, each year, when every American should ask the question, 'Am I ready''"

A Readiness Quotient quiz is available at the post Internet site's Ready Army page to help determine individual preparedness levels. Log on to www.rucker.army.mil, click on the Ready Army banner and test your personal and family readiness by clicking on the Readiness Quotient link. Printed copies of the Readiness Quotient quiz will also be available at various campaign venues throughout the month.

The Fort Rucker Ready Army Web page also features a kids' link for youngsters to learn about the importance of emergency preparedness. The page offers educational games and activities that are sure to entertain, as well as teach. The page also contains links to weather conditions, articles and a toolbox containing Red Cross Web site information.

Plans are in the works for a kick-off event to launch Fort Rucker's preparedness campaign into full swing. Throughout September, the Army Flier and Channel 6 will highlight various preparedness themes and publish a schedule of command-sponsored workshops, displays and activities. Organizations postwide will distribute a variety of tools to emphasize the Ready Army campaign, including posters, bookmarks, booklets, brochures, kids' activity sheets, magnets, calendars and a resource CD.

By the end of September, community members should have a much fuller understanding of how to prepare and execute an emergency preparedness plan.

For more information about the Ready Army campaign, and to discuss opportunities for unit or organization involvement, call the post command information officer at 255-1239.

Page last updated Wed August 27th, 2008 at 13:08