With the exceptionally high number of unpredictable events 2020 has yielded so far, relying on all preparedness resources the Navy has to offer is more important than ever.
One point where the risk of potential hazard is particularly high for Navy personnel is during a PCS move to a completely new, unfamiliar location.
“A lot of it is tackling the unknown about the new area,” said Rebeca Baker, Naval District Washington’s regional emergency management specialist. “When we moved from Louisiana to Alaska, our emergency preparedness kits looked absolutely different. Our car kit went from jumper cables to emergency blankets, ice melt and salt for traction.”
One of the most beneficial resources available to personnel and families when preparing for these unknown hazards is the Navy’s Fleet and Family Support Center. (FFSC)
“A Fleet and Family Support Center is your one-stop-shop for supportive services throughout the course of your career in the Navy,” Baker said. “We have got services to support you at every stage in life.”
FFSCs can provide a myriad of information to incoming personnel about the new assignment location. Personnel are adept in helping Navy personnel and their families navigate the specific hazards that are presented during and after a PCS move.
“FFSCs, also known as Military and Family Support Centers on some bases with multiple branches present, teach the military family to prepare for disasters by having a plan, building a kit and communicating,” said Robert Ford, Military & Family Support Center’s at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. “Families in PCS moves should still consider these three critical steps during the move process: plan for delays and alternate methods of transportation, pack some essentials to travel with you when possible, and communicate with friends, family and sponsors at the gaining commands.”
Navy personnel and families are strongly encouraged to strengthen emergency planning before departing to a new area and after arrival by reading and following the tips and information found at www.ready.navy.mil and www.ready.gov. Both sites provide tips and recommendations on how to prepare of disasters across all different environments whether it be for protecting your home from wildfires, tornado, hurricanes and more.
“If we help prepare families for the worst ahead of time, it really softens the blow of a disaster.” said Baker.
FFSCs should be contacted for help with a PCS move as soon as personnel receive their PCS orders. The sooner an FFSC is contacted in the PCS process, the better. A directory of essential FFSC links can be found at https://www.cnic.navy.mil/ffr/family_readiness/fleet_and_family_support_program.html.