33rd Fighter Wing preps for hurricane season
By Airman 1st Class Amber Litteral, 33rd Fighter Wing
/ Published July 14, 2020
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
With the hurricane season underway, it is important for Airmen and their families to be prepared for a hurricane’s potential impact.
“It’s important to conduct hurricane exercises so that we are prepared in the event of a real emergency,” said Maj. Kayla Beach, 33rd FW plans and programs officer in charge. “To do this, we need to familiarize everyone with evacuation procedures and we need to test our leaders, unit commanders and Airmen so that we know exactly what to do. Practicing helps us find any issues in our planning and overcome them.”
One aspect of this year's HUREX was a focus on the effectiveness of the 33rd Fighter Wing’s command and control and its ability to relay information. Testing the communication processes and the ability of leaders to reach their personnel accurately and efficiently is key in the event of a real-world threat.
“We wanted to see if there were any flaws in our information sharing process that we could fix before the threat of an actual hurricane,” said Beach.
Another important consideration highlighted during the HUREX was of COVID-19 on available resources. Airmen were reminded to allow themselves more time to acquire supplies in a safe and timely manner when preparing their households for hurricane season.
“The overall message is to be proactive and ready,” said Beach. “If they stock up now and create an evacuation plan with some redundancies, then they’ll be better prepared and know how to react in an emergency.”
Whether an Airmen is new to the area and never experienced a hurricane exercise or has gone through several real-world evacuations, the proper practice and execution of a HUREX can impact the safety of Airmen and their families.
“If our wing is ready to evacuate, we can efficiently execute our processes in order to safeguard our people, aircraft and equipment” said Beach. “We are entrusted with taking care of our resources and being ready to evacuate effectively is part of that. Being ready guards our ability to accomplish the mission.”