Center for Service Support touts safety, hurricane preparedness for Independence Day weekend

by Chief Mass Communication Specialist (AW/SW) Shawn D. Graham

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Center for Service Support (CSS) urged Sailors, civilian employees and their families to be safe this Independence Day weekend during an all-hands call July 2.

"We place a lot of emphasis on safety, especially during the Critical Days of Summer because of off-duty recreational activities," said Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Joel Huval, CSS safety coordinator. "We shouldn't lose a Sailor or civilian teammate to an accident that's preventable. We must mitigate any unnecessary risks and ensure all hands return Monday morning."

"The Critical Days of Summer stretch throughout the main summer holidays - Memorial Day, Fourth of July and into Labor Day. And it's during this period, these holidays, that traditionally the Navy loses Sailors and Marines," said Huval.

According to Huval, it's everyone's responsibility to look out for each other and act responsibly so that no lives are lost during the upcoming holiday weekend.

"Ultimately it's the Sailor's responsibility, but accountability falls on leaders," said Huval. "We must be aware of the risks involved in activities. We must encourage our co-workers and peers to think logically when engaged in off-duty recreational activities. There are many factors that influence safety and well-being."

"It's a big responsibility and we must be aware of the hazards that are all around us and our families," said Huval. "We should also take hurricane season into account during this holiday season especially with a storm headed our way."

Tropical Storm Arthur is slowly moving up Florida's Atlantic coast. This storm will likely affect holiday travel and celebrations up and down the East Coast. The storm is expected to turn into a category one hurricane on Thursday, farther south off the coast of North Carolina, with top wind speeds of 75 mph.

"Always think about your location, what you're doing and make a commitment to yourself, your shipmates and your family, to conduct all activities safely and stay indoors if need be," said Huval. "We need all hands to make good choices for themselves and their families."

According to Command Master Chief (SW/SCW/AW) Ray Rosado, every Sailor, Marine, Soldier and Airman traveling in the East Coast should have a hurricane preparedness plan and most importantly a hurricane preparedness kit.

"A hurricane preparedness kit should include important documents, clothing, medication, tools, food and water, hygiene items, first aid supplies, kitchen items, comfort items and most importantly cash," said Rosado.

"Every family should have unique evacuation plans and hurricane preparedness kits," said Rosado. "Every kit and plan should have the specific needs of different family members. Current information about your family and their statuses are also very important. CSS learning centers and schoolhouses must ensure our Sailors update their contact and family information online in NFAAS."

NFAAS is a standardized method for the Navy to account, assess, manage and monitor the recovery process for personnel and their families affected by a significant event such as a hurricane. NFAAS can also be utilized by retirees and contractors and their family members.

"Closely monitor the weather projections in your area," said Rosado. "Hurricanes are unpredictable, make unexpected turns and can move rapidly. Be prepared and always have a plan. Your family's lives may depend on how well you pre-planned for an emergency."

CSS and its learning sites provide Sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's warfighting mission. More than 300 staff and faculty work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensure training is current and well executed on behalf of 10,000 Sailors who graduate from CSS courses annually in the administration, logistics and media communities.

For more news from Center for Service Support, visit

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