By Amber Avalona-Butler/ParaglideNovember 12, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - In this day and age, finding solutions to hard questions will keep our Families safer and smarter.
Fort Bragg officials are constantly promoting heightened safety awareness across the installation.
As parents make preparations to handle an 'all hazard event, be it a terrorist attack, natural disaster or Fort Bragg emergency, their foresight can influence a Family's health ... and may even save lives.
In the event of a large-scale emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Association advises military personnel to report to their command. Staying in contact with the unit ensures that a Soldier receives valuable information as it is disseminated. A Family readiness group can also relay important news to Family members, so ensure that personal information is updated with FRG leaders as needed.
FEMA's website, Ready America, provides valuable tools for Families, including instructions on creating an emergency kit, making a Family emergency plan and guidelines for handling various emergencies.
According to officials with the Fort Bragg Security and Intelligence Division, "Risk can be reduced with increased awareness of terrorism and improved ability to apply personal protective measures."
Ready Army, a campaign designed for Soldiers and their Families, aims to build a more resilient force. The site hosts informational videos on disaster preparedness, provides a common-sense action plan in the event of a biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological terrorist attack and trains parents to develop a child-friendly evacuation procedure.
According to the Ready Army website, parents should identify trusted people to assist children until (the) Family reconnects and let kids be involved in every process of planning. With children, it's important to review the safety plan and adjust the steps as parents deploy or redeploy.
Dealing with a serious event doesn't demand a 'doom and gloom' approach either. Ready Army suggests a scavenger hunt theme to make the emergency kit-creation process more interesting and fun. Making each child responsible for one thing - a pet, a stuffed animal or a younger sibling ensures that children take a proactive approach to handling emergencies.
If parents communicate with children, before, during and after a terrorist attack or other 'all hazard event,' this enables Families to cope with a crisis and work through their fears. Parents set the example for emergency preparedness.
Visit Ready Army at www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy for more information. You can also check out the FEMA sponsored, Ready America website at www.ready.gov/america.