By Cpl. Han Samuel (IMCOM)July 9, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- The frequency of rain in recent times has signaled the start of typhoon season on U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan.
In Korea, typhoons typically last from June to November. According to readyarmy.gov, these typhoons "can cause extensive damage through both strong winds and high flood waters from rain and storm surges."
These effects have been visible on garrison especially in certain areas such as the Moyer Recreation Center, which in past years has experienced flooding.
Robert Daul, antiterrorism officer for U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, said this is why garrisons in Korea annually observe America's preparedness month in June, as opposed to September, the typical observance period in the U.S. This is to ensure that Community members are prepared to face the weather conditions and possible effects and emergencies that may come as a result of typhoon season.
"The primary focus during this period is ensuring that Community members are educated, prepared, and alert for any possible disasters that may occur," Daul said.
With regard to being educated, Daul has suggested that Community members visit the Ready Army website at www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy, or ready.gov, both of which have important information ranging from what a typical typhoon looks like to what things are necessary to prepare for typhoons. Accessing these resources would be the first steps toward staying safe during typhoon season this year.
One aspect of Ready Army that is especially helpful for Families is its kid campaign, which educates children about safety through various workbooks including a Sesame Street workbook. This way, the whole Family, and not just the Servicemembers or caretakers would be informed about what to do during emergencies.
"Servicemembers are always being educated about safety, but education on safety must be given to the whole family, not just Servicemembers," Daul said.
In addition to online resources, USAG Yongsan set up several booths in the Commissary and The Exchange, where Community members were given pamphlets and an opportunity to ask questions regarding how to stay safe during typhoon season.
After being informed, one of the most important things in preparing for typhoon season would be having an Emergency Survival Kit ready.
Daul stated that when emergencies hit, Community members would have limited or no access to supplies. To be safe then, necessities would have to be purchased beforehand and placed in key locations. Daul emphasized that Families needed to store kits in multiple places such as the car, home, and workplace. In addition, Family members needed to discuss and make sure each member was familiar with a clear course of action in the case of an emergency.
"Nobody knows when an emergency will hit," he said. "That's why families need to have a clear plan for where to go when an emergency happens, and where to find their survival kits."
These kits would have to contain all the necessities required for a family to survive at least three days in an emergency including food, water, clothes, and other supplies. Families with babies or pets would also have to include essentials such as formula, diapers, pet food, and toys.
In the event of an emergency, having the right information and right supplies are vital to staying safe. Daul added, however, that being alert was imperative. During typhoon season, the Garrison would provide timely updates regarding the weather and instructions on what to do.
These would be accessible in numerous places such as the garrison website, Facebook page, Armed Forces Network radio, television, and even the Public Address system. To stay safe then, Community members would have to keep an eye on such resources.