Marines

Camp Lejeune prepares for hurricane season

26 May 2016 | Cpl. Mark Watola Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

The Marine Corps selected the coast of North Carolina for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to train Marines on amphibious warfare and due to its close proximity to major ports.

Its easy access to the sea comes with a price: the threat of destructive weather from the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane season starts in June and ends in November and everyone is advised to be prepared.

According to ready.gov, basic preparedness tips include having a disaster supply kit containing a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. Know where to go in case of evacuation or where to take shelter. If possible, stay linked to alerts via text or email.

“On the East Coast of the United States, hurricanes are a real threat,” said John Reeve, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune operations officer. “A serious hurricane approaching the base is one occasion to focus our energies, efforts and priorities toward a common task.”

Camp Lejeune is prepared for destructive weather and plans for months in advance to ensure all assets involved in a situation are well-maintained.

“(Camp Lejeune) is a large installation; it has a lot of various tenants and a lot of different missions,” said Reeve. “(The exercise) is not something we do on the day-to-day basis around here so in order to be sure that we can do it reasonably well, we need to practice it.”

Camp Lejeune conducts its Destructive Weather Exercise annually in preparation for the hurricane season when the emergency operations center is established, shelters are set up and key members are tested on their capabilities to keep base personnel prepared.

“We rely on our training and battle drills,” said Col. Yori Escalante, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune deputy commander. “It always boils down to a big battle drill here; how to execute and what’s next. As soon as you get that down into a drill it becomes second nature.”

For preparedness tips and real-time weather updates visit http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes and http://www.weather.gov.