Region Begins National Preparedness Month, Asks ‘Are You Navy Ready?’


by Patrick Gordon NDW Waterline Writer


September brings many changes to Naval District Washington (NDW); cooler temperatures, changing leaves, football season. But it also begins a time of safety, readiness and preparation.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. A time when everyone should ask themselves the question, “Am I Navy ready?”

“National Preparedness Month reminds us all to be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and stay informed, not just for a month, but every day,” said Jeff Sanford, Commander, Navy Installations Command emergency management specialist, “Ready Navy provides a road map and creates a state of mind for Navy personnel and families to be and stay prepared for any potential hazard throughout the year, something leadership takes very seriously.”

The extra attention paid to emergency preparedness during September is not without cause. The month is in the middle of hurricane season, which runs June 1-Nov. 30 each year. Fall typically sees more tropical storms and hurricanes than the summer months of hurricane season, according to the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, and it is only one threat of emergency that occur throughout the year.

“National Emergency Preparedness Month is a way to be proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to the safety of you, your family, and your shipmates,” said Edward Lewis, Naval Support Activity Washington (NSAW) safety & occupational health specialist. “Having a plan in place, knowing what to do, and staying informed in the case of any emergency will usually prevent trouble and anxiety, and sometimes tragedy. I recommend that everyone to take advantage of resources such as to keep themselves one step ahead of preventable danger.”

Ready Navy is a proactive Navywide emergency preparedness public awareness program. It is designed for the Navy community to increase the ability of every person and family on or near Navy installations to meet today’s challenges head on and plan and prepare for all types of hazards, ranging from hurricanes and earthquakes to terrorist attacks.

By exploring the links on the Ready Navy site, personnel can educate themselves on a number of ways to prepare during and after National Emergency Preparedness Month. Pointers such as being informed of potential hazards and what to do before, during, and after an emergency; understanding the steps to make an emergency plan that includes what to do, where to go, and what to take with you; learning to build a kit to support basic needs for a minimum of three days; and accessing tools and resources to help you and your family prepare for emergency situations that could arise at any time are all available on the site.

Another valuable resource available to personnel is the AtHoc Wide Area Alert Network (WAAN). By registering with AtHoc WAAN, NDW personnel can receive weather and other emergency alerts by workstation, email, phone call or text. To register with the Wide Area Alert Network, visit

“Following your local weather updates and ensuring compliance with preparedness guidance is an essential part of the [emergency preparedness] process,” said Larry R. Nelson, director of training and readiness for Naval District Washington (NDW). “Advanced preparedness is the key to having an advantage over an inclement weather situation.”

For more information on emergency preparedness and other news in NDW, visit

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