Winter Storm Elliott rolled into Southwest Oklahoma Dec. 22 and forced several families out of their Fort Sill homes. Corvias and Fort Sill Housing quickly moved the 13 families, so they had a place to temporarily call home for the holidays. And the Garrison Command Team engaged all families directly during a Displaced Family Town Hall Jan. 26.
“We wanted to ensure all families impacted by the winter storm had an opportunity to tell us their concerns and vent some frustrations,” said Col. Jim Peay, Fort Sill Garrison commander. “That allowed us to apologize for any disruption to their lives, but also thank them for being so understanding.”
Peay said the town hall also allowed them to prioritize work on homes to meet specific needs and requirements. For example, one resident was expecting to give birth any day. That home was placed at a higher priority to assist with getting the mother and newborn back in their home.
Drill Sgt. (Sgt.) Chasity Hampton and her family were displaced when a sprinkler system in the home burst from the freezing temperatures. During the town hall she raised the question of why there was a lock on the sprinkler system. The lock became an issue when the fire department arrived and had to get bolt cutters to remove it to turn off the sprinklers. Col. Peay suggested having a master key for emergency services in the future.
Hampton said aside from the inconvenience the severe weather created, working with the Garrison team has been positive.
“My experience with Housing, Corvias, and Col. Peay and his deputy, Mrs. Sibilla, has been great. Corvias calls every day. I’ve also received calls from Command Sgt. Maj. [William] Taylor as well as the deputy. They’ve been 100 percent great with me-just keeping that open communication and doing everything that they can,” said Hampton.
"We've learned a lot from past storms on how to better alert folks so they can prepare for severe weather, how to ensure the facilities on post are taken care of, and most importantly how to take care of people. I think that is one thing we do well here at Fort Sill," said Julia Sibilla, Fort Sill Garrison deputy commander.