Emergency Preparedness on Okinawa
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Okinawa is currently in the middle of typhoon season with destructive winds and heavy rains that can be dangerous.
The best way to keep you and your family safe is to be prepared and have a plan.
Typhoon season in Okinawa is June through November, according to Natalie Wooley, a Marine Corps Family Team Building trainer with Marine Corps Community Services. Throughout the season, Okinawa is on Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness 4 or TCCOR 4 until the season is over. TCCOR 4 means winds up to 50 knots or greater are possible within 72 hours.
“As the threat becomes more imminent to Okinawa, the Kadena 18th Wing Commander may change the TCCOR,” said Wooley. “This tells us where in the preparations we need to be.”
There are eight TCCOR stages during typhoon season. In TCCOR 3 through TCCOR 1, a person should secure outdoor items and do a final check on their emergency kit. During TCCOR 2, schools and businesses close and outside activities are prohibited until All Clear is called. After All Clear, normal day to day activities may resume.
According to Wooley the first thing people should do is prepare an emergency kit. It should include three days of food, medicine, and each person will need one gallon of water per day.
Important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, records for children, and pet records should be copied and included in the kit. If someone is in a foreign country, passports and visas are also needed.
An evacuation kit should include the emergency kit, clothes, and pet supplies. Meeting points should be planned and practiced so everyone knows where to go during an evacuation.
If an evacuation or emergency situation is called, it is important to listen and communicate with your chain of command.
“During this time, the chain of command will keep the service members updated,” said Wooley. “We have emergency notification systems and radio broadcasts as well, but the chain of command will be the best source.”
For more information visit Shogun Weather at shogunweather.com or contact Marine Corps Family Team Building at 645-3689. MCCS also offers classes monthly or per unit request.