Are You Ready?

by Maj. Rob Grover
886th Civil Engineer Squadron commander

The word “ready” can be interpreted a lot of different ways. Just ask anyone who’s ever waited for someone who said they were ready — except for one more thing they need to do. Most of us tend to assume the cost of not being ready in our personal lives is merely a matter of inconvenience. However, there are many times when planning ahead in your personal life may save your life and the lives of those around you. As you read this article, ask yourself what being ready means to you and whether you’re really as ready as you think you are.

We’ve all heard countless warnings about the dangers of driving after you’ve been drinking. You hopefully know that you aren’t ready to drink until you’ve got a plan to get someplace safe for the night. For those times when driving isn’t required, being ready to drink should also mean having a designated thinker to help you have a good time and not have to worry about explaining your actions the next day. If you’re the designated driver or thinker, are you ready for the consequences of letting the team down if you decide to shirk your responsibilities? Do you have a reliable backup plan and number to call if initial plans fall through?

Things like winter weather should be easy to plan for because we know it is coming, but some of you will still forget to be ready for that first frost and will find yourself getting creative to scrape your windows for the drive to work because you forgot to get an ice scraper. Have you checked to see if your car is ready for winter and can reliably take you where you need to go? For winter safety tips, call 86th Airlift Wing Ground Safety at 480-7233.

What about things more difficult to anticipate? Are you ready for a prolonged power outage or natural disaster? Do you know how to request help for yourself or others? Have you done things in and around your home to minimize the risk of fire and damage from natural disasters? Do you have what you need to function in the short term until your insurance or others are able to help?

For more information on how to prepare for an emergency, visit, contact your organization’s emergency management representative or call the 886th Civil Engineer Squadron Readiness and Emergency Management Flight at 480-7673/4019.

The most common disaster is fire, with U.S. fire departments responding to more than 365,000 house fires in 2009. In an effort to reduce this threat, Fire Prevention Week occurs annually and represents the longest-running public health and safety observance on record.

Brig. Gen. C.K. Hyde, 86th Airlift Wing commander, issued a proclamation Oct. 7 to kick off this year’s Fire Prevention Week in the KMC. Although the 886th CES Fire and Emergency Services Flight has more than 200 firefighters ready to respond 24/7, we would much rather help you prevent fires than to rescue you and your family from a blaze. Are you ready with an escape plan to get everyone safely outside your home? Does your home have smoke detectors and do you know if they work? Does everyone in your family know what to do in an emergency, and that the emergency number in Germany is 1-1-2? For more information, call the 886th CES Fire Prevention Office at 480-5940.

For those of us in the military, deployment is virtually inevitable, but it seems that many of us wait until the last minute to truly get ready. Though some things have to wait, there are many actions we can take long before being tasked to make sure we’re ready when the time comes. Do you have a list of your bills with contact and payment information already assembled to reduce worries and let you focus on your deployed mission? Have you updated your next of kin or insurance beneficiary information lately? Have you discussed with loved ones what your wishes are if you aren’t able to come home? These conversations are always difficult, but they certainly don’t get easier if you wait until just before you deploy. For more thoughts on deployment readiness, contact your local Airman & Family Readiness Center or Family Support Center.

These are only a few ideas and resources to help you plan ahead. Take some time to research them and put plans into action so the next time someone asks if you’re ready, you won’t be the one they wait on as you do just one more thing.