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National Preparedness Month: Because natural disasters don’t wait for our readiness

(Courtesy graphic by Ready.gov)

(Courtesy graphic by Ready.gov)

Staff Sgt. Dayna Byrd, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of emergency management plans and operations, shows the proper shelters for different natural disasters Sept. 8, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. September is National Preparedness Month, with this year’s emphasis on different ways to prepare for emergency situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Rhett Isbell)

Staff Sgt. Dayna Byrd, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of emergency management plans and operations, shows the proper shelters for different natural disasters Sept. 8, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. September is National Preparedness Month, with this year’s emphasis on different ways to prepare for emergency situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Rhett Isbell)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

September is National Preparedness Month and this year, the emphasis is on planning and preparing for natural disasters before they happen.

NPM is used to promote the idea of helping out friends and neighbors in times of crisis and strife before, during and after a natural disaster occurs.

As a crisis is unfolding, the team at the office of emergency management in the plans and operations section are trusted to protect Little Rock Air Force Base and set safety plans into action.

“We want people aware of and planning for the dangers out there,” said Staff Sgt. Dayna Byrd, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of emergency management plans and operations. “Some of the local hazards are tornadoes, high winds, thunder and lightning, flooding, earthquakes and ice.”

There are many ways to prepare for a natural disaster. An easy way to prepare for a natural disaster is to have emergency plans in place for different types of natural disasters. Verify the usefulness of emergency plans by testing escape routes and emergency warning channels.

“During emergencies, simple mistakes can snowball into completely different disasters,” said Airman 1st Class Devin Sova, 19th CES emergency manager of plans and operations. “Preventative measures are the best ways to protect yourself from disaster situations.”

Another way to prepare for emergencies is to have supplies already in place, such as preparing multiple kits for specific situations. As well as updating emergency kits as the needs of those relying on them change.

“Make sure you have a safety kit with food, dry clothing, blankets, a first-aid kit and the other basics, in both your home and car,” Sova said.

Regardless of the type of a natural disaster, a need for a support network made out of friends and the surrounding community will quickly present itself in times of strife.

“You should know your neighbors before bad things happen,” Byrd said. “Learn how to be involved so you can contribute and be helpful to the community.”

Tying together all of these different aspects and steps for when a natural disaster occurs helps to keep Team Little Rock safe.

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