JUNE 2, 2023 – The official start of the 2023 hurricane season on June 1st signals the need for heightened preparedness and vigilance among Moody Airmen and their families to safeguard lives and property.
The 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron’s emergency management flight is dedicated to keeping Moody Air Force Base well-informed and educated, empowering Airmen to make informed decisions during this hurricane season.
Our geographical location in southern Georgia places us at potential risk of hurricane impact, said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jason Bal, 23rd CES superintendent of readiness and emergency management flight.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends November 30, expect between 12 to 17 named storms. Of those, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes.
“The biggest thing to do now while the season is calm and during blue skies is to prepare,” Added Bal. “Have your emergency supplies already bought, your food kit set with non-perishable food so that in the event that we do get hit with winds and power goes out, you are prepared for the event and you still have food, water, medication and pet supplies.”
Emergency kits can play a vital role during critical situations. By containing essential survival items that are readily available, they can help save precious time, ensuring that Airmen have an adequate number of supplies for their families and pets for a duration of 72 hours, an utmost priority.
In case of a severe hurricane system, it is important for Airmen to not only have the necessary supplies but have a clear evacuation strategy.
“Hurricanes have the potential to inflict massive damage to power lines, trees and your home. It is important to stay informed so that you may make a sound decision on whether evacuating would be in the best interest of Airmen and their families,” Bal said. “If you want to stay informed, the Moody’s Facebook page will always have information on any hurricane that will affect us.”
Moody Airmen can also opt to receive AtHoc emergency mass notification system messages, which will provide them with updated statuses of any hurricane systems that could affect the local area.
Necessary preparations and supplies are already being set in place in the event of a hurricane. The 23rd CES emergency management flight are there to ensure Moody Airmen and their families are safe and that the base can swiftly return to operational status as soon as possible.
“We invest some time every year around the beginning of hurricane season.” Said Lt. Col. Peeter Pleake-Tamm, 23rd CES commander. “What we want to do is minimize any resulting damage and then as quickly as possible get us back to generating sorties to get us back to executing the mission.
Lt. Col. Pleake-Tamm further explained, Sandbagging vulnerable areas around facility entrances prone to flooding is a common precautionary measure we undertake during hurricanes. Additionally, we conduct base assessments, urging facility managers to inspect their premises, notifying CE of any damage incurred, enabling us to prioritize restoration efforts.
Planning ahead for hurricanes and tropical storms is key to the safety and security of you and your family.
To determine which flood zone you live in, visit https://www.vaemergency.gov/know-your-zone/. Please check your zone each year and make sure you have the most recent information.
Now that you know how to identify your flood zone, do you have an evacuation plan for your family and pets? Do you know what to include in an emergency kit for not only your family, but pets too? If not, here are some helpful websites:
Do you have an emergency kit? Here is a list of quick essentials to get you started: tarps and duct tape, non-perishable food and bottled water (enough for up to 7-days per person/pet), medications, First-Aid kit, flashlights (new batteries), light sticks, weather radio, and money. Why money? If the power is out, stores are going to be cash only and the ATMs will be unavailable.
Power outages can happen with a thunderstorm or any severe weather. You may only lose power for a few hours, or it could be out for two weeks, depending on the storm. Before severe weather hits make sure to charge all of your tablets, laptops, and cell phones. Laptops and tablets are great back up power for charging your smart phones.
To get yourself ready for the season, create a safety plan and visit www.ready.gov for hurricane preparedness tips.
For local preparation information, contact the emergency management flight at 229-257-1772.
For more information on hurricane preparedness and safety, visit:
Story by Airman 1st Class Sir Wyrick
23rd Wing Public Affairs