EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE! Fort Bragg prepares for upcoming hurricane season
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Organizations from across Fort Bragg assemble at 8 a.m. May 10, at the emergency operation center in order to conduct a quarterly exercise of their skills and emergency operation procedures. These exercises are designed to test emergency operation procedures and engage organizations from across the installation. (Photo Credit: Jacqueline Hill) VIEW ORIGINAL
EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE! Fort Bragg prepares for upcoming hurricane season
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Organizations from across Fort Bragg assemble at 8 a.m. May 10, at the emergency operation center in order to conduct a quarterly exercise of their skills and emergency operation procedures. These exercises are designed to test emergency operation procedures and engage organizations from across the installation. (Photo Credit: Jacqueline Hill) VIEW ORIGINAL
EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE! Fort Bragg prepares for upcoming hurricane season
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Organizations from across Fort Bragg assemble at 8 a.m. May 10, at the emergency operation center in order to conduct a quarterly exercise of their skills and emergency operation procedures. These exercises are designed to test emergency operation procedures and engage organizations from across the installation. (Photo Credit: Jacqueline Hill) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The Fort Bragg Emergency Operation Center activated at 8 a.m. May 10 in a planned table-top exercise in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season.

These exercises are designed to test emergency operation procedures and engage organizations from across the installation.

“It’s important that we run through exercises like these on a regular basis so that we can identify gaps in our procedures before a crisis hits,” said Shane Woodmancy, directorate of plans, training, mobilization and security emergency management specialist. “It also allows for the different organizations and partners on the installation to get together and work through the process so we can validate our abilities to communicate and take action.”

The exercise on May 10 focused on the upcoming hurricane season in a proactive approach toward hurricane preparedness.

This year, Colorado State University Tropical Weather and Climate Research has predicted an above-normal season with 19 named storms, and nine hurricanes with four becoming major hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

Fort Bragg’s emergency management team utilizes the average hurricane numbers from the prominent forecast centers that focus on the Atlantic storms. The EM team then looks at the worst case scenario for planning and preparedness purposes to ensure the greatest level of safety and security for the installation.

“It’s important that not only does the installation prepare for the upcoming hurricane season but also our Soldiers, their Families, our Veterans and Department of Defense Civilians,” said Melanie Campbell-Orellana, Fort Bragg safety specialist. “It is critical that everyone is proactive in preparing for a hurricane at the beginning of the season and not just wait for one to be forecast, when supplies may become limited.”

Ready.gov recommends that a basic disaster kit includes one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation, a several-day supply of non-perishable food, battery-powered weather radio, flashlight, first aid kit, extra batteries, whistle, dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties, wrench, pliers, manual can opener, local maps, and a cell phone with chargers and backup battery.

Basic disaster supply kits should be accessible and easy to transport in case of an evacuation.

Other recommended items include masks, prescription medications, non-prescription medications, infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, pet food, water for your pets, cash, important family documents, matches, feminine hygiene supplies and clothing items.

Another item that many in the local area choose to have is a portable generator.

“Generators are great for when the power goes out,” said Campbell-Orellana. “However, people must always remember to never use a generator indoors or outdoors near doors, windows or vents due to the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

In addition to the supply kit, families should make a plan of action and know the location of the nearest shelter in case their home is damaged or becomes unsafe. Shelters are only stood-up as needed and families can utilize disasterassistance.gov to locate their nearest shelter.

In accordance with the Department of the Army guidance, Fort Bragg does not establish shelters. Instead, “Safe Havens” are designated in order to expedite the services and support given to service members and their Families who reside on the installation.

“These areas are designed to provide safe places during the harshest part of the event,” said Woodmancy. “Once the storm has passed, the situation for each Family and individual can be assessed. The counties surrounding Fort Bragg have established shelters that support our community.”

Soldiers and Families at the installation that have never experienced a hurricane, should proactively educate themselves on hurricane preparedness.

“Not being prepared or having a plan is the most dangerous thing a person and Family can do,” said Woodmancy. “Being adequately prepared not only helps your own Family but it also helps the installation’s readiness by freeing up valuable resources during these emergency weather events.”

For more information on preparing for inclement weather and maintaining your Family’s readiness to go https://home.army.mil/bragg/index.php/about/ready-bragg.

Editor’s Note:

Ready.gov Disaster and Emergency Plans and Kits: https://www.ready.gov/kit

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Hurricane Preparedness: https://www.noaa.gov/hurricane-prep