Malmstrom’s emergency management: Are you ready?

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- When it comes to preparedness, one can never be too ready for a crisis; whether it’s a flash flood, tornado or earthquake – would you be ready if a natural disaster struck tomorrow?

As part of this year’s America’s PrepareAthon!, held every spring and fall, the 341st Civil Engineer Squadron’s readiness and emergency management flight is hosting different events around base to help spread awareness and get Airmen and their families the information they need so they are ready for any disaster Montana may throw at them.

To help share this preparedness awareness the emergency management flight will be holding several information booths at the Exchange, commissary and Grizzly Bend but awareness doesn’t stop there.

Airman 1st Class Kelly LeMoine, 341st CES readiness and emergency management flight apprentice, said the goal for the campaign is simple. It’s used to build a more resilient community by increasing awareness and teaches some basics in what to do to be safe and mitigate damage. It also gives individuals tools on how to take action to increase their preparedness.

According to LeMoine, the keys to preparedness are being aware of the threats, having a kit, making a plan and being ready for anything.

“People always think it’s something that couldn’t happen to them, kind of like winning the lottery, but people win the lottery all the time so why not be prepared,” LeMoine said.

Airman 1st Class Ismael Zayas Ramos, 341st CES readiness and emergency management flight apprentice, said one of the easiest things people can do is to have a 72-hour ready kit in their homes.

Some basic items needed in the kit are:

• Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
• Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio and extra batteries for both
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit and manual
• Whistle to signal for help
• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Manual can opener for food
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

According to http://serve.mt.gov/, Montana has experienced everything from wildfires and flooding to earthquakes and landslides. Here is a breakdown of some of the more recent incidents.

Wildfires
The 2012 fire season was the most devastating season on record since 1910 in the state of Montana. Approximately 1.1 million acres burned across the state with the suppression efforts costing over $113 million. In June 2012, the Ash Creek fire exploded in Rosebud and Powder River counties. The fire burned 249,562 acres, making this the largest fire of the year. The fire burned 39 structures, including homes on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and cost $7.5 million to suppress.

Flooding
A Major Disaster Declaration was declared by President Barack Obama June 17, 2011, for the State of Montana. Flooding resulting from heavy rains and snow melt from record snow occurred throughout the state. Damages were estimated at over $60 million statewide.

Earthquake
The Hebgen Lake magnitude 7.5 earthquake, which occurred August 18, 1959, was the largest earthquake in Montana and the 14th largest earthquake in the contiguous U.S. in historic times (Stover and Coffman, 1993). The earthquake caused 29 fatalities and about $11 million in damage to highways and timber. The most spectacular and disastrous effect of the earthquake was the huge landslide of rock, soil and trees that cascaded from the steep south wall of Madison River Canyon, creating the 174 foot deep Quake Lake.

Tornado
Former Governor Brian Schweitzer declared a state of emergency after the largest tornado to hit the city of Billings in more than 50 years peeled the roof off of a sports arena, causing millions of dollars in damage June 20, 2013. No deaths or major injuries were reported. Wind speeds from the tornado were estimated at 111 to 135 mph. The winds damaged homes and snapped trees and telephone poles. The twister hovered for about 15 minutes over the Metra Arena.

Landslides
A rain-on-snow event in March 2005 caused a mudslide that severely damaged more than 12 miles of U.S. Highway 212 outside of Red Lodge, Montana. The road is a crucial link to Yellowstone National Park. An executive order was issued declaring an emergency for Carbon County. The $15.2 million repair involved excavating rock and slide debris as well as the addition of rock fall fences.

Are you ready? For more information, visit http://www.beready.af.mil or http://www.ready.gov.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.