MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines of Headquarters and Support Battalion and G-3 Operations conducted a destructive weather exercise on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune June 22.
The annual exercise helps installation assets practice procedures taken in the event of actual destructive weather.
"It’s conducted to get all the moving pieces to make sure everything works as advertised if we really do get a hurricane," said Eric Carlson, installation emergency preparedness manager. "The value in this exercise is to identify any gaps, any shortfalls or any additional training needed so that we can be prepared when the real deal happens."
Wallace Creek Fitness Center serves as the primary shelter for the base and is the only FEMA rated hurricane shelter on the installation, rated to withstand up to Category 3 hurricanes.
"We set this place up to make sure that if the actual event happened we had an idea of what we need to do," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Randall Howell, a postal officer with Headquarters and Support Battalion. "If something happens we will have a shelter in place and we encourage anyone who isn’t going to leave the area to stay with us and allow us to serve them."
As a short term shelter, lasting 72 hours or less, the shelter can take up to 620 people. For extended periods of shelter, the shelter could house up to 420 people.
Those who plan to use the shelter in the event of destructive weather are advised to bring a bag of supplies including clothes, snacks and drinks and books or games for entertainment.
"The only thing we don’t take is pets," said Carlson. "The pet shelter is at Jacksonville Commons Middle School. If you have a service dog, for PTSD or some other reason, we will take you at the shelter. You just need to be responsible for your service animal."
For more information visit the all hazards emergency guide at http://www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/mcftb/All_Hazards_Emergency_Guide/index.html.