By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterAugust 25, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Disasters and emergencies are facts of life, and Fort Rucker officials are helping Soldiers and families learn how to minimize the damage they might experience and to be ready for anything.
The installation will offer its Family Emergency Preparedness Training Sept. 22 from 9-11 a.m. at Bldg. 5700, Rm. 371A as a means to help families on Fort Rucker be prepared in the event of an emergency, according to Curtis Williams, mobilization, deployment and stability support operations manager.
"We are all aware that emergencies, such as tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters occur, but what does the family do when these incidents happen? This is what we're going to take the time to find out, along with Fort Rucker's emergency manager, and sit down with family members and explain to them about having their emergency kits and plans ready for anything," he said.
Throughout the training, families will learn about recognizing the different sirens they might hear on the installation and what they mean, what they should do in the event of a specific emergency, what they should have prepared for each emergency and how long they should have provisions prepared, and more, said Williams.
"We want to help people put together a checklist to make sure they know what they need to be doing," he said. "A lot of this training is already given to service members, but not often offered to families, so we want to make sure to take the time to educate the families."
Williams said one thing that most families fail to do is prepare a kit, which, in the event of an emergency, can become a life saver.
"If you're putting together a kit, what goes into that kit? This is all information that we will talk about, so people will have a clear understanding of what it is they will need," said the operations manager. "We will also cover what to do in the event of an active shooter -- you can never be too prepared."
This will be the first time the classes are available to families on post in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which runs through the month of September, and Williams said there are plans to have classes held on a quarterly basis.
This year's theme for the month is "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action To Prepare," according to Willie Worsham, Fort Rucker emergency manager, and the plan is to help people become aware of the different natural disasters that can happen throughout this time of year, including floods, wildfires, hurricanes and power outages.
Adverse weather is something the South is all too familiar with during the change from summer to fall where the region can experience thunderstorms, lightning and tornadoes.
"The key to successfully navigating Mother Nature's nastiness is preparation," said the emergency manager. "Make sure that you have a plan."
Worsham suggests that people visit the Ready Army website, www.ready.gov, which gives people a wealth of information on what to expect, how to make a kit and how to prepare for severe weather seasons and even hurricane season.
"Army Ready is a good site you can use to help you make a plan," he said. "There are forms, checklists, and what actions you should brief your family on, like designating a rally point if something happens to the family home."
The Ready Army website lists the steps people should take to help keep their family safe during times of emergency.
The first step is to be informed, said Worsham. Many emergencies, like power outages, disease outbreaks and manmade accidents can happen anywhere, and being informed is the first line of defense against such disasters.
"I just want people to be prepared," said Williams. "One of these incidents might not have ever happened to you, but you never know, so you have to be prepared."
Families must preregister for the training by Sept. 16, and there is also free childcare available for family members registered with the child development center on a space-available basis. For more information or to register, call 255-9578 or 255-3161.