News | Aug. 10, 2020

Hurricane preparedness at DLA Aviation extends beyond gates

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Hurricane season is an annual affair, but emergency management personnel take a fresh look each year at their ability to prepare for and weather any storms that may roll over the installation, including recuperation from tropical storm Isaias.

Heavy rainfall from the storm caused flooding across Central Virginia over a three-day period, closing Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia on Aug. 4, 2020. Flood warnings and advisories were prompted as heavy rain fell, while police shut down a portion of the roadway behind Kroger in North Chesterfield in order to help residents at the Cloverleaf Townhome Apartments. According to NBC 12 Newsroom, rescue crews could be seen using boats to rescue people from high floodwaters, including a family who was brought to safety.

“Education and preparation are the keys to the successful survival of our workforce and continuation of installation operations,” said William Bullock, installation manager with Security and Emergency Services, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond.

Bullock said the installation first identifies the facilities that are most prone to flooding, and it also tests the warning system weekly to ensure employees receive timely notifications in the event of a storm.

Individual teams working on the installation also receive and implement Organizational Occupant Emergency Plans in times of severe weather, Bullock said. “All employees should review their plans for recommended actions and they should ensure their information is updated to enhance notification efforts.”

Employees can review Occupant Emergency Plans at the Defense Supply Center Richmond Employee Emergency Preparedness website.

Bullock added that employees should become familiar with the locations of local shelters, evacuation routes and Federal Emergency Management Agency-recommended emergency preparations for the home.

FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov, offer a number of resources to help communities prepare for natural disasters and potential outcomes.

Current hurricane preparation guidance from FEMA and Ready.gov includes making an emergency plan for your home, office, childcare and any other locations you frequent.

Home plans may address exterior repairs and security such as installing hurricane shutters and moving outdoor furniture or lightweight items indoors. Also recommended are nonperishable food supplies for humans and pets, a first-aid kit, clean drinking water, flashlights and batteries, a generator and extra fuel.

The presence of COVID-19 also means stocking up and maintaining health-related supplies such as prescription medications and medical equipment, over-the-counter medications, hand sanitizer, cloth face covering or face masks, and cleaning products that meet disinfection requirements.

To learn how the City of Richmond prepares for potential natural disasters such as hurricanes, visit Richmond.gov/fire/emergencymanagement.aspx.