JACKSONVILLE, Fla (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Key West personnel who remained behind on the base, including commanding officer Capt. Bobby Baker, are in constant communication with Navy Region Southeast and are doing well as they weather the storm in a local hotel built to withstand a category 5 hurricane.
Hurricane Irma arrived just after 9 a.m. Sept. 10 as a Category 4 storm.
As weather conditions improve, and when safe to do so, installation personnel will assess the damage and work with Navy Region Southeast and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast to begin the work of restoring the base to full mission capability.
NAS Key West Sailors and civilian employees who are part of the base's reconstitution plan should not return until directed to do so. As the base works to restore operations, the command will contact reconstitution personnel and provide specific directions on when to report to work. Those personnel are asked to drive safely, taking into consideration road conditions along Florida's highway and roads that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.
Non-essential personnel from the installation and its tenant commands who evacuated to safe haven within 300 miles of Atlanta, Georgia, are asked to remain patient as it will take time to restore the base to normal operations, as well as ensure housing is safe for families to return. The commanding officer is committed to ensuring personnel and families who are evacuated are provided regular updates on Facebook and on the Navy's website.
Evacuated personnel and families are asked to only enter a needs assessment in NFAAS if there is an actual pressing need. NFAAS can be assessed at www.navyfamily.navy.mil or by using the NFAAS cell phone app. The system allows families to assess their needs in 19 categories including: medical, missing family locator, transportation, housing and personal property, financial, employment, child care, education, legal services, and counseling.
"We're glad Capt. Baker and his team are safe and well," Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, commander, Navy Region Southeast said. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them as they weather the storm and start the recovery process."
For updates on NAS Key West, visit the installation's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/naskeywest, or Navy Region Southeast's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NavyRegionSE.