NAF Atsugi Prepared for any Emergency
Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi is expected to participate in the upcoming annual emergency preparedness drill, Reliant Gale.
The annual drill is conducted for all of Navy Region Japan as a way of coordinating between various installations and local emergency responders.
“The drill is an annual exercise where NAF Atsugi practices its readiness to deal with a major weather related emergency,” said NAF Atsugi Emergency Manager David Puckett. “We learned a lot from the East Japan Earthquake, as far as better ways to communicate not only with the other installations in the region, but also our Japanese counterparts outside the gate.”
During the East Japan Earthquake, NAF Atsugi supported the relief efforts by acting as a staging ground for helicopters to deliver food and water as well as conducting search and rescue missions.
“It’s essential that people are using their Non Evacuation Operation (NEO) packets before there’s an emergency,” said Puckett. “The most important thing is to have the NEO kit, food, and water all in a backpack near the main exit.”
Navy Ready, the U.S. Navy’s website for emergency preparedness, says that in addition to having on hand enough food for 72 - 96 hours, all personnel should have on hand all NEO paperwork, a family plan and identification such as a passport as well as any birth certificates and social security information.
“During the East Japan Earthquake we had so many problems with getting the right information to the people because they weren’t listening to us, they listened to the talk around the water cooler,” said Puckett. “This is one of the most, if not the most detrimental thing someone can do. If you’re stationed on NAF Atsugi as an active duty Sailor, dependent or support staff, only listen to official channels like the Base Information Channel, which can be found on channel 15, Eagle 810, and the NAF Atsugi official Facebook page. These are the only places people should be looking to when trying to get informed on base-wide information.”
With the upcoming emergency preparedness drill, NAF Atsugi will be even better prepared to handle any emergency.
“We saw last time that in the time when we were in the greatest need, the people of this base stood united with one another and with our Japanese counterparts to overcome the worst natural disaster in recorded history,” Puckett added.