Prepare today for tomorrow's disaster

  • Published
  • By Theresa Mickelwait
  • Readiness and Emergency Management Flight
This past winter should serve as a reminder that sometimes the weather can be unexpected and overwhelming in New England. It is not uncommon to have significant weather events like blizzards, floods, hurricanes or even tornadoes and earthquakes. Yet until it happens, it's too easy sometimes to just get on with our day-to-day lives and forget that a disaster can strike with little warning.

The Hanscom Readiness and Emergency Management Flight will participate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's "America's PrepareAthon!" throughout April by educating the base community on how to prepare for a natural disaster before it impacts the region.

As part of the month-long initiative, families, individuals, schools and organizations are encouraged to participate by signing up at to increase community preparedness and resilience.

Throughout the month, it is encouraged to participate in preparedness drills and discussions. These events are designed to occur in the home, workplace and schools, many of which provide virtual scenarios to create awareness. The concept for FEMA is to get people thinking about preparedness through a variety of events.

The 66th Civil Engineering Division's Readiness and Emergency Management Flight requests members of the Hanscom community discuss preparedness with their family members and co-workers. Officials recommend crafting emergency plans for the home as well as exercising facility evacuation and shelter-in-place plans. This allows personnel to evaluate their own personal preparedness. 

Additionally, officials encourage making an inventory of your home and maintaining vehicle emergency kits. They also recommend exercising personal plans with children and reflecting on what you and your family could do to ensure that recovering from a natural disaster or catastrophic event is stress-free. 

Hanscom readiness officials suggest these steps to better prepare for a natural disaster:

- Discuss with children about where to go in the event of a home emergency. Make a preparedness kit with them and ensure they know where it is.
- Exercise emergency family plans and ensure that children know how to escape the home if necessary and where to go if the family gets separated.
- Ensure that mobile phones are setup to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts through a mobile provider.
- Download resource apps such as "Massachusetts Alerts" or "Red Cross."
- Use Facebook and Twitter to encourage friends and family to be prepared.

Culminating in the month-long campaign is "National PrepareAthon! Day," April 30.

Participants are urged to use that day to take part in a final, emergency drill that exercises any plans or kits that have been created throughout the month. Participants are also encouraged to take pictures and videos and post them to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and social media platforms.

For further information on preparing for a natural disaster or other contingency event that may impact the region or the installation, or if in need of assistance or advice on assembling an emergency kit or drafting a family plan, contact the Hanscom Readiness Emergency Management Flight at 781-225-5919 or 781-225-5921.