WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval District Washington (NDW) is participating in the natural disaster preparedness event, Hurricane Exercise/Citadel Gale 2019 (HURREX/CG 19), starting April 15.
HURREX/CG, is an annual training event conducted by Commander, Navy Installations Command and U.S. Fleet Forces Command, designed to prepare the Navy and local forces to respond to weather threats to U.S. coastal regions. HURREX/CG19 is scheduled to be conducted from April 15-26.
“This gives east coast installations commanders and leadership a chance to go through plans to save our personnel, equipment and installations from damage in case a catastrophic weather event comes our way,” said Tim Stoessel, NDW training and exercise analyst. “This year we’re going to move a certain amount of our Crisis Action Team (CAT) up to the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) in Baltimore to see if we can operate from a remote location.”
“We need to make this move. We want to see if our laptops work, if we have connectivity with cell phones and satellite phones. It’s going to take some time out of people’s day to go from here to Baltimore, but you need to make sure you can.”
A large scale weather event, like the ones simulated during HURREX/CG, could result in flooding and structural damage that would force personnel to conduct recovery efforts away from their base of operations.
“This move is important because even though we don’t anticipate there being a major scenario here weather wise, but it could be anything,” said Matt Brown, NDW training and exercise director. “We need to make sure we’re capable and can function outside of the Navy Yard.”
“If we had a category three storm here, the flooding would be one of our biggest challenges, because the majority of the Navy Yard would likely be underwater. All of our installations, including CNIC headquarters are all moving to different spaces for this exercise to some extent.”
HURREX doesn’t just focus on preparing Navy installations for major weather events, but Navy families as well.
“It’s important the Navy family learn to prepare for a hurricane as well and that includes building a home emergency kit and a “go-bag” to be ready in advance in case evacuation is necessary. The kit should have items such packages should include emergency batteries, flashlights, radios, blankets, and food and water. During HURREX, installations will exercise and assess their ability to communicate with, train and fully prepare our families,” said Stoessel.
Military, civil service and contractor personnel with an NMCI or One Net user account are required to register for the Wide Area Alert Network, which provides alerts through a variety of methods, including exterior and interior loudspeakers, computer desktop notifications, and mobile text or email through cell phones.
National hurricane season begins June 1 and goes through Nov. 30.
For more information about hurricanes and weather updates, visit the National Hurricane Center website at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.