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FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The U.S. Army recognizes National Preparedness Month every September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and fostering resilience because a life built is worth protecting.

“Overall, we want to remind the community that being prepared is an everyday tasking for all of us, not just in the month of September,” said William J. Owens, emergency management specialist, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization & Security.

It is mandatory to be prepared for disaster when it occurs, whether it is a natural, technical or human-caused disaster.

Owens said preparation here is informing Soldiers, families and civilians in the community what “Ready, Set, Go!” means.

“Having your family ready for any situation is paramount – from being ready for a deployment, having a baby (even if adopting), owning pets or preparing for a move,” Owens advises.

“Knowing and ensuring your family members are aware of emergency contacts. Having everyone understand what to do, where to go and who to call,” he adds. “Educating your family on how to build a plan, an emergency kit and a to-go bag will ensure everyone is safe.”

There are environmental hazards in a mountainous desert environment during the changing seasons.

“As we move into fall, we should look around our homes and trim back any overgrown grass, bushes and clean any vents leading into the home from debris, animals and bugs,” he said.

“Look at windows to ensure they are sealed properly, change out the filters in the air conditioning and heating units, replace batteries in the smoke detectors and home flashlights. Due to the monsoon rains, it is recommended to check the house foundation.”

Moving out of monsoon season, fire season starts again. Overgrown flora dries and easily turns into a hazardous fuel for wildfires.

“On the installation, DPTMS, the Directorate of Emergency Services, the Directorate of Public Works and the Environmental & Natural Resources Division work closely with the U.S. Forest Service [conducting] prescribed burns to minimize that fuel,” Owens said.

Threats can include the full spectrum of natural and environmental disasters or even criminal and terrorist activity which may be directed at Soldiers, family members and civilian employees.

“Leaders are integral in preparing troops,” Owens informs. “Leaders can provide guidance and encourage their personnel to train, educate and exercise a ready plan.”

The Army Disaster Personnel Accountability & Assessment System (ADPAAS) is the standard method for the Army to account, assess, manage and monitor the recovery process for personnel and their families affected and/or scattered by a wide-spread catastrophic event.

ADPAAS provides a tool to report your status, current location, update emergency contact information and request assistance. ADPAAS helps Army leadership account for personnel and make decisions that support Soldiers, families and civilians.

To learn more about preparing for a disaster, visit Ready.Army.mil or Ready.gov.

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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.

Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.

We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.