Planning is key for emergency, disaster preparedness

September is Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Month. The emergency managers of U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz help ensure the community is well informed and ready for any crisis that could threaten the garrison and the surrounding area.

These threats could be natural or manufactured incidents and can cause an adverse impact to our military community.

“They can strike at any time, with or without warning,” said Ashley Bryles, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz emergency manager. “So, it is imperative for all of us to be prepared to respond to, and recover from, any of these threats as quickly as possible.”

Aside from the ongoing pandemic, the most likely threats to our community include flooding, high winds, demonstrations or protests, terrorist activities, cyber-attacks, fires, earthquakes, snow and ice storms, and insider threats, according to Bryles.

The emergency managers said being informed, having supplies on hand and having a plan are the keys to being prepared.

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an entire site dedicated to education and preparedness,” said Terry Dunlap, garrison anti-terrorism officer.

The FEMA site is

“In conjunction, the Army has created, for military personnel and their families. Both of these sites provide the necessary tools to help reduce our community vulnerability to both natural and man-made disasters,” Dunlap said.

In addition, those programs provide members with resources to prepare their households before, during, and after a disaster, he added.

Experts say, at a minimum, everyone should have the basic supplies and keep them in an easy-to-carry tote that can be used at home or carried in the event of evacuation.

“Planning for the unexpected begins with the whole family talking about what to do in a serious emergency,” Bryles said. “Have a conversation in a calm way that will not make children or older relatives anxious. Make it fun, but discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.”

Bryles added families need to identify responsibilities for each member of the household and plan to work together as a team. Plan what to do in the event family members are separated at the start of an incident or during an evacuation.

Another way families can stay alert and informed is by registering for the ALERT! System, the garrison mass warning and notification system, which provides real-time warning and updates for the garrison population via desktop pop-up messages, text messages, email, and telephone calls.

The system is only used for emergency notification but comes in handy during inclement weather when the roads are dangerous or closed, Dunlap said.

For more information on how to register for the “ALERT! Mass Warning Notification System” please click

“Every region is unique. Knowing the type of disasters likely to occur in your specific community increases a swift response,” Bryles said. “We must all work together for a quick and more seamless transition back to normalcy after any event.”

To help prepare for an unexpected event, the Emergency Management community recommends:

  • 1 gallon of water, per person, per day, for a minimum of three days
  • Medications
  • Important documents
  • Non-perishable food options such as nuts, canned goods, and granola bars
  • First-aid-kit
  • Battery or crank operated radio
  • Flashlight
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic bags
  • Water purification tablets
  • Paper maps and compass
  • Matches
  • Can opener
  • Baby supplies (diapers, wipes, formula, etc.)
  • Dog supplies (food, water, and toys)
  • Change of clothes, sleeping bags, proper footwear, and personal hygiene items

For more information, call DSN 541-3030/3034.