JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Non-essential personnel were evacuated from Naval Air Station Key West Sept. 6 in advance of Hurricane Irma, which remains a Category 5 storm.
As Irma progresses toward the Southeast United States, many Navy Sailors and civilians are wondering when they should evacuate. The simple answer is that the parent command must determine whether personnel and family members should evacuate. Commands should consider whether the location is covered under a disaster or emergency declaration issued by the federal or state government due to Hurricane Irma, and whether the location being evacuated is covered under a mandatory or voluntary evacuation order issued by competent civilian authorities.
When the parent command makes the determination, taking into consideration whether mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders are issued by competent civilian authorities, then the evacuation of non-essential civilian employees, and authorized military and civilian employee dependents residing in those counties is authorized.
For active duty personnel, they can be issued temporary duty (TDY) or permanent change of station (PCS) orders, but are not considered in an evacuated status.
Remember, civilian authorities cannot authorize entitlements for travel. Military and civilian employees must contact their commands prior to departure.
Evacuees who are part of the Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) claimancy are authorized to proceed to within 300 miles of the designated remote safe haven area of Atlanta, Georgia. Non CNIC personnel covered under this evacuation directive should proceed to the remote safe haven area designated by their parent command.
Civilian employees, and military and civilian employee dependents evacuating under this authority must be issued individual evacuation orders by their parent command. Reimbursement for lodging and per diem will be at the approved rate for the designated safe haven. Costs incurred by an evacuee for travel conducted without authorization away from the designated safe haven are the responsibility of the evacuee. Funding for military and civilian personnel is the responsibility of the parent command. Reimbursement eligible expenses must have occurred within the specified time period on the parent command evacuation order and may not exceed the authorization as directed by the parent command.
Impacted personnel are reminded that they do not need to wait for individual orders before evacuating. Individual orders can be issued once evacuees arrive at their respective safe havens, or even once they return. It is important to remember to keep receipts for everything.
Individual commands retain responsibility for mustering evacuated personnel and reporting their status as directed by their parent chain of command. Personnel unable to contact their parent command may report their status via the Navy Family Accountability and Assistance System (NFAAS) at https://navyfamily.navy.mil or 877-414-5358. The phone number is only manned after an order to account has been activated.
To assist the Navy family during this disaster, an NFAAS needs assessment module will be activated at https://navyfamily.navy.mil to enable impacted personnel to document their status and request assistance, if needed.
All evacuated personnel should maintain situational awareness through regular communications with their chain of command and via local media outlets. Evacuated personnel shall remain clear of impacted areas until authorized to return by competent civilian authorities and their parent command.
Remember, you are responsible for your own safety and that of your family. Listen to your local authorities and follow their instructions.