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Exercise helps airmen prepare for emergency

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  • Exercise helps airmen prepare for emergency


    Exercise helps airmen prepare for emergency
    By Capt. Mae-Li Allison, 27th SOW Public Affairs
    June 11 2008 3:29 PM

    Representatives from the 27th Special Operations Wing and local community functional areas with emergency management responsibilities met here May 28-29 to discuss how they would respond to natural and man-made disasters.

    Designated All Hazards Response Training, the ?tabletop exercise? encouraged discussion about how Cannon AFB and the cities of Clovis and Portales would respond to two separate events: a terrorist?s use of high explosives combined with a release of a chemical agent at Cannon, as well as a pandemic influenza outbreak.

    Two major lessons learned from the exercise included the need for effective, efficient communication within and between all agencies involved and the communities, as well as individual and family preparedness.

    ?This training was important because it provided the Emergency Operations Center, First Responders, and other key base personnel a unique opportunity to exercise with local response agencies during a simulated base emergency,? said the 27th Special Operations Wing Inspector General, Lt. Col. Ivette O?Brien. ?It also provided a forum for all these agencies to exercise their current response checklists and plans, and update them based on lessons learned.?

    The 27th SOW/IG Individual Mobilization Augmentee, Maj. Vicky Johnson, added that the training gave valuable insight as to what means and radio frequencies people use to communicate and gave participants a chance to see how the whole system operates.

    According to O?Brien, the base is required to perform an emergency management type of exercise at least once a quarter and must work with local community agencies at least once a year.

    The AHRT was led by several representatives from L3 Communications, a defense contractor who planned the scenario and led the exercise.

    O?Brien said the medical community conducted similar exercises in the past, but only recently has the Air Force required other base and civilian agencies to participate.

    One important lesson learned during the pandemic influenza outbreak simulation was that individual preparedness is the key to potentially stifling the spread of a contagious disease like the flu.

    ?A regional disaster like pandemic influenza will affect everyone inside and outside the military gates,? said Maj. Ken Mershon, the 27 SOW Inspector General deputy. ?The capabilities, response, and expectations of the military and civilian agencies are crucial to understand amongst all. Whole community preparedness is the key; within the community, the individual families must be educated and made aware of the actions and results of its civic and military leadership during such a crisis.?

    Individual preparedness checklist
    This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic.

    1. To plan for a pandemic:

    ? Store a two-week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it is to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages or disasters.

    ? Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.

    ? Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.

    ? Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

    ? Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.

    ? Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.

    2. To limit the spread of germs and prevent infection:

    ? Teach your children to wash hands frequently with soap and water, and model the correct behavior.

    ? Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, and be sure to model that behavior.

    ? Teach your children to stay away from others as much as possible if they are sick. Stay home from work and school if sick.

    3. Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home:

    ? Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups o Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment

    ? Protein or fruit bars

    ? Soap and water, or alcohol-based hand wash

    ? Dry cereal or granola

    ? Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen

    ? Peanut butter or nuts

    ? Thermometer

    ? Dried fruit

    ? Anti-diarrheal medication

    ? Crackers

    ? Vitamins

    ? Canned juices

    ? Fluids with electrolytes

    ? Bottled water

    ? Cleansing agent/soap

    ? Canned or jarred baby food
    and formula

    ? Flashlight

    ? Pet food

    ? Batteries

    ? Other non-perishable items

    ? Portable radio

    ? Manual can opener

    ? Garbage bags

    ? Tissues, toilet paper, dispo
    sable diapers


    On the Net

    A list of items required for any general emergency can be found at: