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Emergency management: time to prep for the worst

By Staff Sgt. Jason McCasland 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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With temperatures rising and spring rains falling, tornadoes and other natural disasters can be far from people's minds, but when disasters strike, being prepared can help families diminish the disaster's impact.

Airmen from the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management team offer advice on "prepping for the unknown" and how to help weather the storm or survive during a natural disaster.

"By having a disaster preparation bag for any potential emergency or disaster, individuals can enhance their ability to respond and cope during the recovery process while mitigating future incidents," said Tech. Sgt. Shawn Jamison, 2nd CES emergency management NCO in charge training. "In addition, by preparing for the worst possible scenarios it can help save lives by eliminating panic caused by the initial disaster."

But, how will people on Barksdale know if and when an emergency happens? Currently, Barksdale employs notifications via the Giant Voice System, 2nd Bomb Wing Facebook page updates, base website, marquees at both the North and West Gates and other official media outlets.

"Barksdale has a very effective warning and notification system that provides advanced warning during emergencies or disasters," said Airman 1st Class Jacob Buchanan, 2nd CES EM apprentice. "It is important to monitor these notifications and warnings when they are issued so you don't get caught in a situation where you are not prepared. This ultimately increases the survival chances for everyone if the warnings are taken seriously."

Natural disasters cannot be stopped, but by being prepared their effects on people can be lessened. The time to prepare is now, not after. As an old saying goes, "Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best."

"Now is the ideal time for individuals to build at least a 72-hour disaster preparation bag, to include resources like first aid kits, water, food and fuel, all of which may be difficult to come by in the moments immediately following a disaster," said Senior Airman Rachael Garner, 2nd CES EM journeyman. "When disaster does strike it is important to listen to what the emergency messages are telling you. When people are told to stay indoors it is not only for their safety but for the safety of first responders. First responders have to navigate disaster areas in order to help with emergencies; it can slow them down if they have to also watch out for curious onlookers."

For more information on how to build a disaster preparation kit or for disaster tips visit www.beready.af.mil or www.ready.gov.