WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is set to support National Preparedness Month in September as part of an ongoing initiative to ensure that Soldiers and Army civilians are ready to react if disaster strikes.
National Preparedness Month was started in 2004 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to encourage Americans to prepare themselves for possible emergencies, and the Army has been doing the same with its work force for years.
“The Army is very interested in the safety and security of its Soldier and civilians,” said David Beltz, director, Security and Safety Directorate at Army headquarters. “The month is a good opportunity to remind everybody about preparedness and thinking about doing things ahead of a natural disaster or man-made incident.”
This summer the Army began outfitting the office of the Secretary of the Army with Shelter In Place and Go Kit bags. The kits contain equipment that would allow personnel to shelter in their offices for up to 48 hours.
“That includes food, water, blankets and other essential items,” Beltz said.
The Army’s “Ready Army” Web site, at www.ready.army.mil, can help Soldiers and their families ready themselves for emergencies. The site suggests critical items needed to create an emergency kit, for instance.
It also takes readers through an emergency preparation planning process, and encourages people to be informed of potential hazards. Readiness is a significant part of the Army’s mission, and emergency preparedness promulgates that aspect throughout the work force. The preparation also makes the Army more resilient if a disaster occurred, allowing the service to get back on course quickly.
“We have Army senior leadership, Soldiers and civilians providing vital work for troops overseas,” Beltz said. “We have to be concerned about ourselves because no one can step in if we’re not prepared.”