WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNS) -- Even a hurricane with winds up to 185 miles per hour could not hinder Navy installations from sustaining the Navy’s fleet, enabling fighters and supporting families.
As Hurricane Dorian threatened and impacted the U.S. east coast last week, several installations under Navy Region Southeast and Navy Region Mid-Atlantic prepared for the worst while ensuring the safety of the Navy’s people and the security of its ships and aircraft within the area.
“Being prepared for natural disasters is something we work towards year-round, and the regions and installations that were directly affected by Hurricane Dorian should have a tremendous sense of pride towards how effectively our process for these storms was implemented,” said Tim Alexander, director of operations for Commander, Navy Installations Command, who oversees the shore enterprise.
Navy installations in the path of Dorian recently participated in a major annual weather exercise, called Hurricane Exercise or HURREX, which honed personnel’s skills as they went through procedures on how to prepare the bases for and recover from hurricanes. Procedures practiced included securing potential hazards throughout the base, clearing storm drains, sandbagging in flood-prone areas, reinforcing building windows and doors, testing and fueling emergency generators as well as evacuating people, aircraft and ships.
The exercise proved beneficial as Navy installations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland braced for the first major hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season that brought torrential rain and high winds.
“Mitigating all damage from a storm that size is not possible, but minimizing through preparedness and having the right strategic resources in place to support our Sailors and families before, during and after the storm, that is the mission of CNIC and it is one we executed extremely well,” Alexander said.
In preparation for the storm’s arrival, installations, including Naval Station Mayport and Naval Station Norfolk, supported the fleet by assisting with the departure of several ships to other installations outside of the immediate area or out to sea. To prepare and secure the vessels that remained at the wharves, base personnel, specifically the installations’ port operations teams, had to add mooring and storm lines, drop anchors, and disconnect shore power cables. Base personnel also supported the departure and eventual return of multiple aircraft to installations including, Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
While port and air operations procedures were being executed, the flow of information to those in affected areas was also a top priority. CNIC’s Fleet and Family Support Program at the installations worked with base leaders to ensure service members and families were kept abreast of the hurricane’s track, evacuation notifications and safety measures.
“Before a major storm like this, Fleet’s and Family Support Programs are primarily focused on communication,” said Judith Wright, CNIC headquarters program analyst for Family Emergency Response and Deployment Support. “It is our goal to ensure that Sailors and their families have all the information needed to help them prepare, be safe during the storm, and easily receive the support they need after the storm has passed.”
Alexander advises all Navy personnel and families to always be ready for adverse weather conditions. The Ready Navy program, which is manage by CNIC, offers a range of information to help individuals and families get ready for the next storm or other disasters. To learn more, visit the Ready Navy website at https://www.ready.navy.mil/
For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cni/.