Fair emphasizes emergency readiness at work, home

By Kimberly K. Fritz DLA Aviation

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Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at Richmond, Virginia’s Security and Emergency Services Division held a Preparedness Fair closing out National Preparedness Month Sept. 28 during the lunch rush at the Defense Supply Center Richmond cafeteria.

The event goal was to ensure employees know the importance of preparing in advance for natural and man-made hazards, said Thomas Reinard, chief, Security and Emergency Services. 

“People often don’t think about preparedness until after the fact,” he said. “Emergency preparedness is planning for where you will go and how you will respond when disaster strikes. The goal is not to be paranoid, but be prepared by keeping a supply of food, water, medications, batteries and things that you’ll need if you lose power or water services.”

The police department was on hand to help employees register for notifications through the installation’s AtHoc system. AtHoc notifies registered users by email, text message or voice message when operations at the center have changed or of an upcoming situation employees should be aware. Reinard encourages every Defense Supply Center Richmond employee to register, so that they are informed when the installation is closed, opening late or if other information is shared.

“Rgistering for AtHoc is one of many ways employees can improve awareness,” he said. “We often share information about changing weather conditions or events on the installation. Earlier this year, we had an active shooter exercise and many employees weren’t aware because they weren’t registered for AtHoc.”

There is an icon on every computer’s desktop to register for the system.

The police provided self-defense demonstrations and promoted the Rape Aggression Defense class that prepares women to fight back against attackers.

Employees were encouraged to walk a line while wearing the Fatal Vision goggles simulating intoxication. The goggles provide the wearer the feeling of being intoxicated.

Police officers demonstrated how explosive materials are detected using residue and a chemical reaction that lets them act quickly against accidents and attacks.

DSCR’s criminal intelligence officer provided an overview of the installation’s criminal intelligence program and explained the correlation between criminal/terrorism intelligence and force protection/access control measures.  An overview of active shooter awareness and response training was also provided along with demonstrations of protective equipment that will soon be available to installation employees. 

The fire department provided information about smoke alarms and fire detection and stressed the importance of having evacuation plans at home for everyone including pets.

“Preparing for emergency situations is not just about surviving, but recovering,” Reinard said. “Pay attention to what is going on in your community at home and what is taking place in your work area and be prepared.”