Emergency Management encourages families to stay ready

Col. Brian Hartless, 86th Civil Engineer Group commander, speaks to a crowd at the National Preparedness Month 5k Run Sept. 29 on Ramstein Air Base. This year’s overarching theme was, “Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can.”

September was National Prepared-ness Month. The overarching theme this year, organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is, “Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can.”

Installations across the Department of Defense teamed up with FEMA and communities around the nation to spread awareness of preparatory actions citizens can take to protect their homes and livelihoods in the event of a natural or large scale disaster.

This year’s campaign is all about educating people to be aware and prepared if something does happen.

“We are getting the word out on what people can do, like creating a plan,” said Senior Airman Marlene Zeledon, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management planning journeyman. “We encourage people to go online and use (www.ready.gov). The website is run by FEMA and has planning tips for just about every circumstance.”

To stay prepared, FEMA suggests families keep enough food rations to last each person three days, a gallon of water per day for each person, and communication and transportation plans in case members are required to go to work in adverse weather conditions.

Plans formulated by FEMA can range anywhere from natural disasters like wildfires to man-made disasters like chemical emergencies.

Man-made disasters and situations can arise at any moment, but knowing the area you live in can help members plan ahead for the possibility of natural disasters.

“There is no single way to prepare for man-made disasters,” said Staff Sgt. Frances Christian, Defense Threat Reduction Agency emergency management instructor. “Having an evacuation plan, rally points and being properly trained are the best ways to prepare. Practicing for events like fire drills and tornado drills are one of the best ways for a family to keep themselves safe and prepared.”

As the winter season approaches, families living in the Kaiserslautern Military Community are encouraged to have plans for tornadoes, severe winter weather and flooding.

“The wind storm on Sept. 13 was our welcome to the winter season,” said Airman 1st Class Allison Castillo, 86th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster apprentice. “Gusts were measured up to 46 miles per hour, but we expect to see higher numbers as we enter the winter months.”

During wind storms, the emergency management flight suggests finding shelter or the safest location possible.

“Practice your plans often,” said Zeledon. “Don’t forget about your pets or people with disabilities. Practice when, how and when you’re going to evacuate. Practice, practice, practice.”


Members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community run for the National Preparedness Month 5k Run Sept. 29 on Ramstein Air Base. This year’s overarching theme was, “Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can.”