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Be Informed
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Image-Be InformedMany events can trigger emergency situations with the potential to escalate into disaster. Hazards such as power outages or disease outbreaks can happen anywhere at any time, so you should become familiar with the spectrum of possible dangers and how you will be notified about them. It is also important to give special consideration to hazards likely to affect your local area, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes or severe winter weather. Living abroad presents additional preparedness challenges and sometimes less familiar hazards such as volcanic eruption and tsunamis.
 
While the potential threats can seem overwhelming, keep in mind that most of what you address in your family emergency plan or put in your emergency kits will be useful regardless of the hazard. And in many cases, the same protective alternatives apply—evacuate or shelter-in-place.

Notification and Emergency Actions
You should understand the local mass warning system(s) and, when notified, be prepared to evacuate, move to a civilian shelter or designated safe haven or temporarily shelter-in-place.

Image-bullet Mass Warning Systems: Each local community is responsible for warning the public of impending danger due to an emergency. Army installations support this effort by establishing mass warning and notification systems. Overseas, these procedures may include warning family members living off the installation, ideally in cooperation with local or host-nation authorities.
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In the United States, the main agencies that warn of natural hazards are the National Weather Service (NWS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). NWS uses the following terms for specific natural hazards:
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  Image-bulletWarning—A hazardous event is occurring or imminent. Take immediate protective action.
  Image-bulletWatch—Conditions are favorable for a hazard to develop or move in. Stay alert.
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Image-bullet Evacuation: If advance warning and other circumstances permit, the preference for nonessential and nonemergency personnel is evacuation using specified routes and transportation methods. Installation Emergency Management organizations have plans and procedures to direct evacuation or direct movement of personnel and family members to safe havens or civilian shelters. Be sure to obtain a copy of your state evacuation plan and be familiar with your surroundings. When possible, plan to stay with Family or Friends who are nearby, but unaffected by the hazard.
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Safe and effective evacuation requires planning ahead—there may be no advance warning. You should plan primary and alternative evacuation routes in advance, with appropriate maps to take along in your emergency supply kit.
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Image-bullet Moving to Civilian Shelter: A shelter is a publicly identified, certified, supplied, staffed and insured mass care facility where endangered people can find temporary protection for a limited time. Army installations coordinate shelter needs with appropriate state, local, host-nation and private agencies. The American Red Cross is the principal U.S. resource for development, management and operation of certified shelters.
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Image-bullet Moving to Designated Safe Haven: A local safe haven is a facility on the installation that provides temporary protection during sudden incidents, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. A remote safe haven is a facility on a geographically distant DOD installation or facility that provides short-term to medium-term lodging of displaced personnel during large-scale incidents, such as hurricanes and extended wildfires.
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Image-bullet Sheltering-in-Place: In some instances, evacuating or moving to a shelter or safe haven is more dangerous than remaining where you are. When there is a short-notice or no-notice emergency such as a hazardous materials event, you may be directed to shelter-in-place, that is, take temporary protection in a structure or vehicle, typically your workplace or residence. It is important to know for different emergencies which part of a building is safest and how best to keep the air safe to breathe.

Reporting Your Accountability Status
At the earliest safe opportunity, check in with your command. It is important to ensure that you and your Family are accounted for and receive help if you need it. If you have access to the Internet, you can report your status through the Army One Source and Military One Source Web sites (addresses
are listed below). If you cannot get online, the Army Info Hotline, Army One Source and Military One Source have established hotlines that you can call to relay messages to your command and to others who may be concerned about your welfare.

In some cases, the Secretary of Defense will direct all DOD-affiliated personnel in the affected area to report their accountability status as soon as possible. When this happens, if you have access to the Internet you are to report your status online through the Army Disaster Personnel Accountability
and Assessment System (ADPAAS, Web address: https://adpaas.army.mil). ADPAAS provides a way for Army personnel and their Families in the disaster-affected area to report their status and how they were affected by the event. It also provides commanders a means to assess the impact of the disaster on Soldiers and their Families and provide assistance where needed. For further information on ADPAAS, you may email questions to adpaas@spawar.navy.mil. You may also report your situation through your chain of command or by using one of the established call centers or hotlines listed below.

Army Disaster Personnel Accountability
and Assessment System (ADPAAS) Website:
https://adpaas.army.mil
Army Info
Army One Source
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Military OneSource
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Spanish-speaking callers
Hearing impaired callers
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1-800-833-6622

1-800-464-8107

(484) 530-5980
(800) 3429-6477
http://aos.myarmylifetoo.com

1-800-342-9647
http://www.militaryonesource.com
1-877-888-0727
1-866-607-6794

Considerations for Those Living Abroad
Image-bullet Learn the local emergency telephone numbers. These numbers may differ on and off installation. Ensure all Family members know the appropriate emergency numbers and include them in your emergency plan.
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Image-bullet If you live off base, plan with host-nation neighbors to stay informed throughout emergencies.  Local media may cover an emergency before Armed Forces Network (AFN) television/radio.
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Image-bullet If you live off base, threat levels or varied other circumstances may keep you from getting on base for day-to-day activities following an emergency. Keep local currency, know alternative places to shop and learn basic phrases in the local language.
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Image-bullet Selecting a rendezvous point may require more thought and ingenuity than it would for locations within the United States. Remember, a contact person in country, but in a different city, is less likely to be affected by the same event.
   
Image-bullet The U.S. Department of State provides a range of resources for Americans traveling abroad. Visit the Emergencies and Crises page on Travel.State.Gov .

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NEO Awareness
Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) are conducted to assist the Department of State (DOS) in evacuating US citizens, Department of Defense (DOD) civilian personnel, and designated host nation (HN) and third country nationals (TCNs) whose lives are in danger from locations in a foreign nation to an appropriate safe haven. Although normally considered in connection with hostile action, evacuation may also be conducted in anticipation of, or in response to, any natural or man-made disaster.
 
Be prepared to participate in NEO by following the instructions provided. Remember, understanding NEO is one part of preparing your Family for emergencies. You should know the range of hazards that may affect you, appropriate actions to take before, during and after an emergency including shelter-in-place, and know the resources available to you.
 
For more information on NEO visit: http://www.armyg1.army.mil/MilitaryPersonnel/NEO.asp

Be Part of the Solution
No matter where you are when an emergency strikes—

Image-bullet Leave emergency response to the professionals. Do not put yourself in danger.
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Image-bullet Enable responders to focus on the most critical needs first.
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Image-bullet Remain flexible and cooperative. Stay alert for instructions.
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Image-bullet Take care of yourself and your Family; help neighbors and visitors if you can.
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Image-bullet Every step you take to prepare yourself and your Family strengthens the community.
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Image-bullet Consider getting involved by taking first aid training or becoming a certified first responder. The links page lists a number of ways you can volunteer including assisting The Salvation Army and participating in Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).
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