MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE, ALBANY, Ga. -- Editors Note: Hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. This is Part 1 of a two-part series on hurricane awareness and preparedness.
History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.
“The National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration prediction for the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season is for 12 to 15 tropical storms, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes,” said retired Navy Vice And. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator at a news conference May 16 in Bay St. Louis Miss. “Forecasters are confident that this will be an active hurricane season.”
There are actions however that the Marines and civilian employees here can take to ensure that they aren’t vulnerable.
The first step is to be cognizant of the various weather conditions and what they mean. The following are conditions of readiness:
Tropical Storm Condition V -- Normal condition during hurricane season from June 1 - Nov. 30 each year.
Tropical Storm Condition IV -- A tropical storm may strike this are within 72 hours.
Tropical Storm Condition III -- A tropical storm may strike this area within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Condition II -- A tropical storm may strike this area within 24 hours.
Tropical Storm Condition I -- A tropical storm may strike this area within 12 hours
Hurricane Condition IV -- A hurricane may strike this area within 72 hours.
Hurricane Condition III -- A hurricane may strike this area within 48 hours.
Hurricane Condition II -- A hurricane may strike this area within 24 hours.
Hurricane Condition I -- A hurricane and its destructive effects are imminent.
Hurricane hazards come in many forms: surge storms, high winds, tornadoes and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly.
You should be able to answer the following questions before a hurricane threatens:
What are the Hurricane Hazards? What does it mean to you? What actions should you take to be prepared?
At the beginning of hurricane season (June 1), check your supplies, replace batteries and use food stocks on a rotating basis. During hurricane season: monitor the tropics and NOAA Weather Radio. If a storm threatens, heed the advice from local authorities. Evacuate if ordered and most importantly execute your family plan.
“Making a plan which includes where to go, how to get there, and what you need to bring is a good start. If you’re planning to stay home during the storm, you need to ensure you have nonperishable food and water for at least a couple of days,” said Staff Sgt. Kitras E. Thomas, destructive weather chief, Base Installation and Logistics Division. “It’s also a good idea to have a back up source of power and extra batteries.”
Family disaster plan
Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
Make a plan now for what to do with your pet if you need to evacuate.
Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit.
Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
Disaster supply kit
* Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
* Food - at least 3 to 7 days
* Non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices
* Foods for infants or the elderly
* Snack foods
* Non-electric can opener
* Cooking tools / fuel
* Paper plates / plastic utensils
* Blankets/pillow, etc.
* Clothing - seasonal/ rain gear/ sturdy shoes
* First aid kit / medicines/ prescription drugs
* Special Items - for babies and the elderly
* Toiletries/ hygiene items/ moisture wipes
* Flashlight / batteries
* Radio - battery operated and NOAA weather radio
* Cash - banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods
* Toys, books and games
* Important documents ÐÐ in a waterproof container: insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security Card, etc.
* Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
* Vehicle fuel tanks filled
* Pet care items - proper identification/immunization records/medications
Preparing a family plan and a disaster supply kit is half the battle. Preparation must be made for pets if any and for your residence. Stay tuned to next week’s Emblem for additional actions you can take both at work and at home.
The emergency broadcast voicemail phone number for all personnel, military and civilian, aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., is 639-7600. In the event of unusual circumstances such as destructive weather or unsafe base conditions, this voicemail will provide up-to-date information on actions base personnel should take regarding reporting to/exiting the base, facility closures or announcing modified work schedules.
The Albany area is currently in its season for heavy rains and hurricane watches which may cause potential spotted city flooding in low lying surrounding counties. Traditionally, these conditions have caused unnavigable transportation issues for base personnel. The voicemail number should be kept in a place for easy access.