51st CES wraps up National Preparedness Month

by Tech. Sgt. Ashley Tyler
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Each September, National Preparedness Month is recognized to help individuals prepare themselves and their families for any disaster that may take place, such as floods, earthquakes and tornados.

This year, with the theme Disasters Happen – Prepare Now, Learn How, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management personnel worked with Osan Red Cross personnel to inform Team Osan about the importance of preparing for any disaster at any time with events held throughout the month.

“September was chosen as National Preparedness Month, as the tragedies of September 11, 2001 highlighted to the nation the importance of being prepared,” said Senior Airman Christopher Montgomery, emergency manager with the emergency management office. “National Preparedness Month is very significant because it provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year from unexpected hazards in the world.”

Montgomery and his team set up boots to inform the base about disasters and also planned a 1.7-mile relay known as the Mustang Challenge, which they incorporated in the annual base wide Osan Cup competition.

This year, the relay was only offered to military members, but emergency management and the Red Cross hope to hold the Mustang Challenge sometime next year and open it up to all members of Osan, including dependents and base civilians.

“The relay was a combined idea from emergency management and Red Cross, where teams of three to five run a course composed of seven stations focusing on disaster preparation skills. Some of the stations teams will encounter on the relay include CPR, building a tent, and preparing a NEO kit, just to name a few,” said Montgomery. “We incorporated this competitive relay to remind members that not only should you be mentally balanced, but physically prepared as well.”

According to emergency management, it’s crucial for everyone to share and exercise best-practiced skills with all individuals who could be potentially involved in catastrophic disasters or incidents.

“We are hoping everyone will be engaged to take time to learn or refresh lifesaving skills – such as CPR, first aid, checking their insurance policies and coverage for the hazards they may face, such as typhoons, earthquakes, and floods,” said Montgomery. “We encourage all members to take the steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, workplaces, schools, and communities - to be ready at all costs.”

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