Marines

Hurricane season begins June 1

6 May 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

Hurricane season is creeping up once again. June 1 marks the beginning of the hurricane season that has continually hit the eastern seaboard, usually leaving a trail of death and destruction.

Because hurricanes can cause an extensive amount of damage, it’s important for service members, families and Department of Defense civilians in the Camp Lejeune area to be ready to handle emergency situations.

John Reeve, current operations officer for Marine Corps Installations East and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, said it’s important to know where shelter sites are located.

Currently Camp Lejeune has four emergency shelters: Camp Lejeune High School, Tarawa Terrace II Elementary School, Brewster Middle School and Building 1212. Both the high school and the elementary school can hold a maximum of 400 people. Up to 450 people can go to the middle school and is equipped with 2,700 meals, ready-to-eat. Building 1212 can provide shelter for 50 people.

Marines who live in the barracks may be restricted to their barracks which can act at shelters and ensure their safety and accountability.

Knowing where to seek shelter is only half the battle when reacting to emergency situations. In times of crisis, it’s also important for families to have their own emergency evacuation plans and supplies to ensure everyone’s safety.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s website, nhc.noaa.gov, everyone should have food, water – at least one gallon per person for each day for seven days—blankets, toiletries, flashlights, a radio and important legal documents.

The website also stated that if ordered to evacuate, personnel must not delay their departure or wait for the storm to pass. Even a slight delay in evacuating could mean longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.

In addition to the NHC emergency alert systems, MCB Camp Lejeune is also taking proactive steps to ensure everyone’s safety

“We plan on conducting a Destructive Weather Exercise in July,” said Reeve.

The exercise is to ensure that the emergency facilities respective to certain situations are able to operate at maximum proficiency when a natural disaster occurs.

When Marines, their families and civilians are prepared and know what to do during a hurricane it ensures they are protected and ready to continue the Marine Corps mission after the storm.