Planning Key to Family Readiness During Hurricane Season


Story Number: NNS090618-03Release Date: 6/18/2009 12:43:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW/SW) Shawn D. Graham, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans Public Affairs

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans and Fleet and Family Services (FFSC) are teaming up to provide Sailors here with evacuation and emergency preparedness resources for this hurricane season, which began June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Hurricane preparedness kits could ease Sailors' heightened fears if a storm is approaching, said Melissa Garner, an FFSC representative.

Garner said that every kit should include important documents, clothing, medication, tools, food and water, hygiene items, first aid supplies, kitchen items, comfort items and pet supplies.

"Every family should have unique evacuation plans and hurricane preparedness kits," said Garner. "Every kit and plan should have the specific needs of different family members. Sailors should also have an established pet plan."

Some items to pack for pets include the veterinarian's contact name, vaccination records, medications, food, water bowls and extra collars, said Garner.

"Our furry friends are an important part of our lives," said Garner. "Their well-being requires a lot of planning. Many hotels and shelters have strict 'no pet' policies, so there must be hotel and shelter lists generated prior to leaving."

Garner cited many products and services offered by the FFSC, including hurricane preparedness checklists, classes and counselors that personalize evacuation plans.

"Commands have taken on the responsibility of ensuring Sailors prepare early," said Garner. "Supervisors should not find out during an evacuation trip that their Sailors don't have government travel cards."

Chief Yeoman (AW) Linda Lewis, a mustering and accountability coordinator for NAS JRB, said proper planning could prevent many of the common problems associated with an emergency.

"Current information about your family and their status are important," said Lewis. "Every command must ensure Sailors update contact and family information online in the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) https://navyfamily.navy.mil."

NFAAS is a standardized method for the Navy to account, assess, manage and monitor the recovery process for personnel and their families affected by catastrophic events such as hurricanes.

Lewis also said that the families of individual augmentees (IAs) should be contacted immediately during any emergency planning.

"Commands [may] forget about a deployed Sailor's family," said Lewis. "We have to be their support system and be ready to go the extra mile for them, even if it means sending help to get the wife or husband packed and on the road."

For more news from NAS JRB New Orleans, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasno.



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Chief Navy Career Counselor Ron Campbell, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), directs a Galveston, Texas resident to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tent at an aid distribution point in Galveston.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of Chief Navy Career Counselor Ron Campbell, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), directing a Galveston, Texas resident to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tent at an aid distribution point in Galveston. Sailors and their families are urged to have an evacuation plan in the case of a natural disaster such as hurricanes. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth R. Hendrix (Released)
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