Emergency Preparedness Month recognized at Horsham Air Guard Station

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Wil Acosta
  • 111th Attack Wing Public Affairs

 Apple harvests, pumpkin-spiced lattes and fall football can make it easy to forget it's hurricane season.

To ensure airmen remain ready, the Horsham Air Guard Station Emergency Management Office is echoing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s theme of “prepared not scared” here during National Preparedness month.

FEMA recommends the following for emergencies like floods, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes and power outages:

– Save early for disaster costs with an emergency fund;
– Make a plan to prepare for disasters;
– Teach young people to prepare for disasters; and
– Get involved with community preparedness.

Senior Master Sgt. James Weller, Horsham AGS emergency manager, the installation's chemical biological, radiological and nuclear specialist, John Hertler, emphasized the importance of readiness for citizen airmen.

“Units, individuals and their families need to be prepared -- especially on the family side,” said Weller. “If we're activated in a domestic operation by the government to support our commonwealth, we need to know our families back home are prepared for us to go out the door to help our fellow citizens.”

Both noted emergency plans don’t have to be complex. In fact, the base emergency management office is releasing weekly emails packed with simple tips and resources to help the base prepare mentally, physically and financially for a disaster.

“Save for disaster costs also means having cash in the house, as ATMs may not be working,” Hertler explained. “Also, make a plan and make sure your whole family knows the plan …”

Hertler also highlighted why members should include children, extended family and friends in the process of planning for a disaster.

“It is important to prepare the youth because it’s a good learning experience for them,” said Hertler. “And, it's a good idea to communicate your plan with your relatives and neighbors to make sure everyone knows where you’re going to be during an emergency.”

Weller reflected on how National Preparedness Month has changed.

“Going back in history, post 9/11 a lot of things changed. We [emergency preparedness] became full spectrum and September is now emergency preparedness month. It addresses more of an all hazards nature to our lives on and off the installation.

"My biggest message would be to prepare an emergency kit and to make a plan for both your military functions and for your family,” said Weller.

John Hertler, chemical biological radiological and nuclear program specialist for Horsham Air Guard Station and Senior Master Sgt. James Weller, Horsham AGS emergency manager, take a break from moving their emergency response vehicle to pose for a photo during Emergency Preparedness Month here Sept. 12, 2019. National Preparedness Month promotes family and community disaster and emergency planning. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Wil Acosta)