Don’t worry, be ready

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

    During any emergency or natural disaster, one major thing typically is on one’s mind – family.

    Having a solid plan for family communication can prevent a lot of confusion and worry. Family members who have a good plan in place will be able to reach each other more efficiently and effectively.

    “Incidents can occur at any time or any place. Having a pre-established emergency communication plan alleviates the stress and difficulty of notifying our loved ones in the event that you are separated,” said Tech. Sgt. Brandi Mathis, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management training NCO in-charge.

    The Emergency Management Flight here highly encourages Team Tyndall to have a plan in place for the hurricane season.

    “The Emergency Management Flight currently briefs this information during newcomer briefings to inbound Airmen at the First Term Airmen Center and during our annual hurricane briefings,” Mathis said.

    Ready.gov recommends the following tips for a good start on a family communication plan.

    Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings.  Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting: www.ready.gov/alerts.

    Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go. Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a hurricane, tornado or wildfire.  

    Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:

    • phone numbers (work, cell, office)

    • emails

    • social media

    • medical facilities, doctors and service providers

    • schools

    Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:

    • Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.

    • Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.

    • If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.

       

    Examples of meeting places:

    • In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.

    • Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend’s home.

    • Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.

    • Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.

    • Practice your plan. Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.

    To download a plan or for more information visit Ready.gov, or for more information contact the Tyndall Emergency Management flight at (850) 283-2010.