February 26, 2015 --
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency has divided the state of Georgia into seven areas, each with its own coordinator. Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany falls within Area 2 and participated in a tabletop exercise in Thomasville, Georgia, Feb. 17, with representatives of the 23 counties that make up GEMA Area 2.
The scenario involved an approaching hurricane that threatened the Florida Panhandle and Southwest Georgia. Before the hurricane even hit, the Area 2 team discussed how they would handle having an influx of evacuees into their communities in advance of the storm.
MCLB Albany could receive up to 8,000 evacuees from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as part of Memorandum of Agreements that have been signed between the installations. Should students and staff have to evacuate because of a hurricane they could come to MCLB Albany as their “Safe Haven.”
This exercise also allowed members of the Operations and Training Division to discuss how MCLB Albany may be able to support local responders should a Defense Support Civil Authorities request be presented to the installation.
Although a hurricane would most likely not directly impact MCLB Albany, the secondary effects could cause damage to the installation and threaten the lives of those who work upon it. High winds and copious amounts of water can cause local flooding on and off the installation as well as high winds could topple trees in the local area making travel to and from the installation dangerous.
It is times like this when decisions are made by the installation leadership to determine who needs to be here in order to ensure that the mission of supporting the Marine Corps, specifically the operational forces, is accomplished.
These types of exercises are invaluable in ensuring that the personnel who work and live aboard the Installation as well as their property are protected from harm. Not only is this accomplished through training the staff and Installation first responders, but also by passing information to the public in the form of preparedness articles and fairs as the hurricane season approaches.