TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WMBB) — As Hurricane Ian continues to move its way through Florida, local officials are preparing for the potential threat.
Tyndall Air Force Base commanders moved the facility to HURCON 4 status on Monday.
That means the storm could potentially threaten the base with destructive winds of around 58 miles per hour within 72 hours.
Tyndall officials have not evacuated base personnel, but the Emergency Operations Center is set up to help mitigate those emergencies and prepare.
“What we do is we create several checklists, several plans, during the initial notifications of that storm or whatever is coming we start implementing those plans and we will go step by step with those checklists and we will make sure each entity on base is in good fashion, in good working order when it comes to those checklists,” Emergency Operations Center Manager Staff Sergeant Hunter Mabry said.
Officials urge Tyndall personnel and their family members to review their personal emergency action plan, monitor the weather, and prepare a hurricane kit.
“One thing people should know when it comes to hurricanes, is they need to have a plan,” Mabry said. “They need to have some kind of emergency kit, whether that be in their car or their house something that is easy to grab and go right that needs to have water and spare food. They also need to know where all of their emergency documents are.”
Mabry said after Hurricane Michael, officials have a better timeline of when to evacuate the base.
“We have refined our checklists, we have narrowed it down to what really needs to get done in a certain amount of time,” Mabry said. “We have seen that hurricanes can rapidly increase or decrease in strength overnight, so we are a little more ready at this time.”
Tyndall personnel and their family members should take the following steps:
- Monitor weather stations, check Tyndall website, social media, etc.
- Activate family/personal emergency action plan and determine plan for pets.
- Inspect/inventory shelter or evacuation kit, to include first-aid kit and flashlights.
- Check vehicles, prescriptions, food, sanitary supplies, clothing and bedding.
- Brief family members and ensure precautions are taken for high-risk individuals.
- Protect skylights, fit windows and glass doors with shutters or plywood (if living off-base). Ensure generator fuel tanks are full.
- Clear yard of loose materials that could possibly turn into projectiles.
- Obtain enough cash to cover near-term expenses.
For more information on hurricane conditions and guidelines please stay updated at www.tyndall.af.mil/Hurricane-Season and www.facebook.com/TeamTyndall. For questions, contact 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at (850) 283-3333.