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'Be Ready' to be a hero

  • Published
  • By John Burt
  • Air Force Civil Engineering Center Public Affairs
September is National Preparedness Month, part of an annual campaign to raise awareness on the importance of emergency preparedness.

"Emergency preparedness is each individual's responsibility," said Mike Connors, the Air Force Emergency Manager. "The better prepared you are, the more likely you'll be able to save a life, possibly even a family member's or your own."

Started by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security in the year following the terror attacks on our nation Sept. 11, 2001, the goal of National Preparedness Month is to increase the number of people who take steps to prepare for emergencies of all kinds.

This year's theme is, "You Can Be the Hero."

"FEMA's National Preparedness Month is a great way to get the readiness message out each September," said Connors, a member of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center's Readiness Directorate. "The Air Force's 'Be Ready' awareness campaign is year-round and works together with it. Through 'Be Ready' we have an array of information and practical resources to help Airmen and their families be prepared for whatever the threat may be."

One resource introduced this year is the "Be Ready" application for Android and Apple mobile devices. The app is free and gives detailed information covering a wide range of both natural and man-made threats. It offers features like emergency numbers, websites and emergency supply checklists.

"Three things that we stress to our Airmen is 'Get a kit, make a plan, and be prepared,'" said Sam Hazzard, the AFEM education and training program manager. "The 'Be Ready' app provides a recommended emergency checklist of supplies at your fingertips. The list can be customized depending on your threat, geographic area or situation. You can check off items as you add them to your kit."

Further, the app offers Airmen help in creating a family emergency plan, officials said.

"The app has a customizable family evacuation plan where users can pre-select meeting points and be able to provide that to children, spouses or parents," said Rob Genova, an emergency management education and training specialist. "It can serve as the single-source for important things needed after a disaster as well, like utilities and insurance account information."

Each installation's emergency management office offers preparation information including a comprehensive emergency preparedness guide and even "Be Ready Kids" activity sheets to help educate younger family members.

For more information and resources to help you and your family "Be Ready," contact your installation's emergency management office or visit http://www.BeReady.af.mil.