Health & Safety

June 7, 2012

Intense preparation for severe weather

Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

In an emergency situation, agencies should have a plan in place to ensure that everyone gets to safety in a swift and orderly fashion. D-M held an emergency management exercise here May 17.

The exercise focused on the base’s response to a natural disaster.

“Our local area has a high Monsoon threat,” said 1st Lt. Thomas Synovec, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness and emergency flight commander. “We like to focus on Monsoon readiness when it comes to natural disaster exercises.”

Monsoon season is June through September in the city of Tucson. During this time, rain storms can unleash torrential downpours that last for hours and cause flash floods throughout the city.

“Even though the exercise was simulated, all of the players involved took the exercise injects seriously and executed their checklists like we would for a real-world event,” Synovec said. “They were motivated and that was noted by the exercise evaluation team.”

To be in accordance with Air Force Instruction 10-2501, Air Force installations must conduct a minimum of six EMEs a year. Each exercise must focus on a different emergency situation, like natural disasters.

“The exercise program seeks to provide installation commanders with a means to plan and conduct realistic, integrated exercises and personnel training,” Synovec said.

Last year, the 355th CES was hit with a real-world natural disaster when winter temperatures dropped to record lows for about four days in February. The extreme weather caused pipes to burst all over the installation.

“We were awarded EME natural disaster exercise credit for our real-world response to the freeze,” Synovec said. “Situations like that are why these exercises are necessary. As we incorporate more robust exercises into the schedule, we will continue to make strides and become a more efficient and effective response force.”

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