Communication key during an evacuation

by Navy Region Southeast Public Affairs
Stripes Guam

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Many Navy personnel have evacuated to safe havens in advance of Hurricane Irma. Now that they're safely out of the way, what's the next step?

Military personnel and civilian employees should contact their supervisors upon safe arrival at a safe haven location and stay in touch on a regular basis. Letting your command know you have arrived safely takes just minutes, and it is a big part of the overall command plan during an emergency. Sailors and civilians must keep their chain of command informed of their whereabouts during a storm or evacuation, and checking in daily by phone is important.

Establish a daily reporting routine. Some commands may require something as quick as a text message to your immediate supervisor at a pre-designated time each morning to report status, while others may have an assigned central phone line to contact the command. Take time to understand your command's reporting requirements before you evacuate.

All members of a family should have an emergency point of contact in case they cannot reach each other. A trusted relative living outside of the affected area would be a good choice. A local point of contact should also be established. These names and phone numbers should be programmed into all family member cell phones, and written copies should be with all family members as well.

Additionally, all evacuated personnel and family members should log into the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) upon arrival to their safe haven location to update their status. The NFAAS app is available through your mobile app store for download at no cost to all active duty personnel, family members, and DoD and NAF civilians. You can also muster at the NFAAS website at or call (877) 414-5358.

NFAAS is also used to manage and monitor your well-being during the recovery process. Mrs. Kandi Debus, Navy Region Southeast's family readiness emergency management coordinator, emphasizes that Sailors and families should only enter a needs assessment in NFAAS if there is an actual pressing need. The system allows families to assess their needs in 19 categories including: medical, missing family locator, transportation, housing and personal property, financial, employment, child care, education, legal services, and counseling.

When you receive the "all clear" and are able to return to your installations, stay tuned to local command information channels, such as the command's Facebook page, for news regarding the recovery process.

Photo Caption:

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 8, 2017) A GOES satellite image taken Sept. 8, 2017 at 9:45 a.m. EST shows Hurricane Irma, center, in the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane Jose, right, in the Atlantic Ocean, and Hurricane Katia in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Irma is a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 155 mph and is approximately 500 miles southeast of Miami, moving west-northwest at 16 mph. Hurricane warnings have been issued for South Florida, as the storm is expected to make landfall in Florida.

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea

Recommended Content