JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Bobby Baker has authorized the return of all personnel and family members effective 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22.
Evacuation entitlements will end for all personnel and families at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 25.
Personnel and families were evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma and temporarily located in safe haven in Atlanta, Georgia, before shifting safe haven to Jacksonville, Florida, on Sept. 18.
Reports from the Florida Keys shows that police checkpoints have been removed and traffic is flowing smoothly. However, personnel and families are reminded to travel safely as they head south for their homes.
"We need everyone to be prepared when they return to Key West," said Baker. "Don't expect all services to be completely up. You may have to boil your water until told it is safe to drink. The shelves at the Commissary and Navy Exchange may not be fully stocked. It will take time to return to normal operations."
An Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC) will open Sept. 22 at NAS Key West. The EFAC will be manned with Navy counselors prepared to assist returning families. Additionally, the EFAC will have personnel to assist families with the processing of their evacuation travel orders. Personnel and families should bring all their receipts for the period they were under evacuation orders to assist with liquidating their travel claims.
EFACs at NAS Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay will continue to provide support through Sept. 23.
Families who live in Key West Public-Private Venture (PPV) housing and whose homes are uninhabitable have been contacted individually. Most people will be able to return to their residences. For the units that are not habitable, those residents will be moved to another PPV home or other living arrangements will be made.
Families who live in private off-base residences may have damage, particularly for those who live in the hardest hit areas. For assistance in finding temporary quarters, families should visit the EFAC.
The Sigsbee Charter School is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 27. Parents should review the Monroe County School website for the staggered start dates for school openings. Visit the website at http://keysschools.schoolfusion.us/.
Additional updates can be found by visiting NAS Key West and Navy Region Southeast's Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/naskeywest/and www.facebook.com/NavyRegionSE.