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‘Be Ready:’ Preparedness key to mission success

  • Published
  • By Vincent Rienzi
  • Headquarters Air Force Emergency Services Branch
September is National Preparedness Month, and the federal government senior leaders are emphasizing the importance of workplace and individual preparedness.

To promote this initiative, the Air Force is reaching out to other federal partners to help inform personnel how they can prepare for emergencies.

Sept. 10, Headquarters Air Force and Air Force District of Washington staff members organized Air Force participation in the 2014 Department of State Preparedness Fair in Washington, D.C. Tech. Sgt. Dominique Pitts and Senior Airman Michelle Bascom from the 11th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron Readiness and Emergency Management Flight, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, represented the Air Force Emergency Management Program at the event.

“As the Air Force component within the National Capital Region, AFDW emergency managers at Joint Base Andrews perform a very exciting outreach mission,” said Allison VanLare, of the AFDW Emergency Management Office. “Reaching out to the community is a critical part of an emergency manager's job. It just so happens in the NCR, ‘the locals’ are often federal agencies. The large number of inter-agency partners in this region creates unique opportunities for our talented Airmen to showcase the AF EM Program and initiate relationship building and information sharing, the effects of which span far beyond the Andrews fence line.”

Throughout the day, Pitts and Bascom interacted with State Department employees while showcasing aspects of the Air Force “Be Ready” Awareness Campaign. “Be Ready,” is a year-round initiative that provides a comprehensive set of resources covering all potential emergency situations. Materials outline what to know and what to do before, during and after natural, man-made, or technological disasters. These materials are available on the "Be Ready" website and through each installation’s emergency management office.

“Our belief is that a well-prepared workforce is essential to the government’s ability to carry out our missions, and well-prepared family members are an important part of national preparedness,” said Lt. Col. Madison Morris, Headquarters Air Force Emergency Services Branch chief.

Aspects of the program received laudable mention from State Department employees included the Air Force “Be Ready” Kids Activity Book and Air Force “Be Ready” mobile app. The free app gives information on a wide range of threats, providing users practical tools including customizable family evacuation plans, emergency numbers, emergency websites, and emergency supply checklists.

“Ongoing collaborative engagement is essential to every organization’s preparedness mission,” said David Epstein, Headquarters Air Force emergency management policy chief. “It was our honor to participate at this world class Department of State event.”

Airmen can find more information on the “Be Ready” program by contacting their installation’s emergency management office or visit the 'Be Ready' website by clicking here. For more information on DOD’s 2014 National Preparedness Month efforts, click here