When natural disasters and other emergencies strike, your Parent Center will step up to locate services and supports for affected families. Military families have some additional concerns during emergencies, but they also have significant resources available for just such situations. You can direct military families to these resources both during an emergency, and for future planning, which lets your Parent Center concentrate on other types of assistance. The military resources include planning for an evacuation when individuals have disabilities.
What happens on an installation when there is an emergency?
Military installations sometimes run emergency preparedness drills, much as a school might have a fire drill. If you are present on an installation when such a drill (or an actual emergency) occurs, this is what you can expect:
• Announcement of the emergency: may be delivered in person, by loudspeaker, or by text messages/social media to installation personnel and military families or an Emergency Alert System broadcast over radio or TV.
• It is VERY important that you follow the instructions of installation personnel
• You may be told to “shelter in place”*, or for emergencies such as extreme weather, you may be given instructions on evacuating the installation
*Sheltering-in-place means to take temporary protection in a structure or vehicle.
Parent Centers: Quick and Easy Ways to Help Military Families in Emergency Situations
After an emergency, if a military family lives off base, threat levels or other concerns may keep them from getting back on base for day-to-day activities (such as school). If a family receives medical care at a Military Treatment Facility, they may be temporarily unable to access the facility. During or after an emergency, service members will need to report to their command. Keep in mind, our military service members may be called upon to serve in an emergency, which means that the family will have to evacuate without them.
• When military families are instructed to evacuate their installation (or from their place of residence), they’re sometimes evacuated to another State or other distant locations. If your State or area is receiving military family evacuees, the links below will make it easier for you to direct them to military resources. This will allow your Parent Center to concentrate on other types of assistance, such as information on local and statewide resources such as hospitals, and if the family is unable to return home for some time, help them navigate school systems and their special education programs.
• When the military family is new to the installation and the evacuation area, you can show evacuated military families that your Parent Center is informed by sharing the links below through social media and on your website. As you make announcements about your emergency-related activities, hours of operation, etc., you can include links to military-specific or military family-friendly resources.
• You can give more help to the military families you currently serve by listing or highlighting on your website and social media local agencies and other resources that will be useful in an emergency. Military families are strongly urged to have Family Emergency Plans and Kits, and having disability resources for a quick download will be a great help for emergency preparedness. Your civilian families will thank you too!
Specifically for military families:
The installation plan for emergency management is called the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP 10-2). Military members should ensure their family members are aware of the CEMP 10-2 and supporting checklists.
Important: all service members are required to report in to their service’s Accountability and Assessment Systems when there is an emergency. Military families should also check in to the Accountability and Assessment systems by internet or phone. These systems let service members, family members, and commands know that people are accounted for.
Each branch of service has a web site dedicated to helping servicemembers and their families prepare for emergencies.
Ready Army is an Army-wide campaign developed by the Headquarters Department of the Army and the Army Emergency Management Program to prepare the Army community, encourages soldiers, their families and Army civilians to build a kit, make a plan and be informed.
The Secretary of the Defense may direct all DOD-affiliated persons in the affected area to check in with their command for accountability during a disaster or other emergency. Personnel can check in online using the Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPAAS). Army officials to account for assigned personnel and their Family members and, if needed, provide assistance using ADPAAS.
If Internet connectivity is unavailable, personnel can contact the Army Information Hotline 1-800-833-6622.
Ready Navy is a Navy-wide emergency preparedness program initiated by Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).
Service members must “muster” or report in to keep the Navy informed of their status and needs. They should follow their command’s established procedures to report their status. If command or alternate command cannot be reached they should log in to the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS)
Family members will need their sponsor’s date of birth and social security number to log in.
If Internet connectivity is not possible, service member and families should call the Navy Personnel Command Emergency Coordination Center (NPC ECC): 1-877-414-5358 or 1-866-297-1971 (TDD).
The Air Force Be Ready emergency preparedness website has important information about preparing for disasters and emergencies.
In case of certain disasters or emergencies, the Secretary of Defense may direct all people affiliated with the Department of Defense in the affected area to check in with their command for accountability.
Air Force Families should log in to the AFPAAS website. Family members will need their sponsor’s date of birth and Social Security number in order to log in.
If a computer is not available, service members should call the Air Force Personnel Readiness Cell at 1-800-435-9941, DSN 665-2020 or commercial at 1-210-565-2020.
Ready Marine Corps is the United States Marine Corps’ proactive emergency preparedness, public awareness program, commissioned by Marine Corps Installation Command. Ready Marine Corps has tips and resource to help families prepare for, respond to, and recover from any type of emergency or disaster.
For information about evacuation entitlements review the Coast Guard Evacuation Order Guidance 2017
Families may also benefit from having a Coast Guard Personal Readiness Plan PRP
Would you like more information about the steps military families should take to be prepared for a disaster?
Resources for Emergency Preparedness for Families with Special Needs:
Do you need to help a family find a shelter? Reach an active duty service member in an emergency? Take steps towards recovering from a disaster?