[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     March 27, 2009

Ready Army beginning to gear up

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Fort McCoy’s Ready Army program serves as a resource to support installation organizations and for personnel in the Fort McCoy community (military and civilian) who want information about how to prepare for an emergency, said Quentin Graham.

Graham recently took over as Fort McCoy’s chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) representative for the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

He brings an extensive knowledge of emergency management techniques to the position, including an undergraduate degree in the field.

"I can answer a wide array of questions about emergency situations," Graham said. "I will have access to Ready Army materials to distribute information about those topics."

One of his first goals in the position will be to set up display racks or stands that have information about natural and manmade disasters and other potential emergency topics, he said. Another goal is to continue working with installation organizations, such as Army Community Service, to disseminate the information.

The groundwork and preparations will help get Fort McCoy ready for the National Preparedness Month in September, Graham said.

The month will focus on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and help Americans understand what it truly means to be ‘ready.’

"I can answer a wide array of questions about emergency situations."

Quentin Graham,
Fort McCoy's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Representative

Two topics were in the March spotlight: handling food safely and flood awareness, which had special observance weeks from March 15-21.

Food-borne illnesses can be combated by following four steps. Graham said personnel should first, ensure clean food by washing their hands and surfaces often; second, separate food so it doesn’t cause cross contamination; third, cook food to proper temperatures and fourth, refrigerate food promptly.

Flood awareness also is an important topic at this time of year as winter subsides, and the combination of ice melting as well as spring precipitation can increase the water levels in creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes and other bodies of water, Graham said.

Graham said floods can develop slowly or quickly. Personnel can take action by keeping informed and knowing flood terminology.

Flood watches mean flooding is possible, while a flash flood watch means flash floods are possible. Warnings mean an event is occurring or will occur soon.

Personnel should listen for further instructions, through such media as radio or television. In the case of flash flood warnings, they should seek higher ground on foot immediately.

The office also will support the Wisconsin Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week from April 20-24.

"Ready Army and the government also have a lot of good Web sites that can provide information," Graham said. "I encourage everyone to become familiar with the sites."

Relevant Web sites include, but are not limited to: the Army Web site at http://www.army.mil; and the Army Ready Web site at http://www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy/ or http://www.ready.gov.

Graham said he also is working to have Ready Army information accessible through various Fort McCoy outlets, including the Corporate, Extranet and/or public Web sites. Fort McCoy TV-6, The Real McCoy and other newsletters that circulate throughout the installation also may provide information.

More information is available by calling the Fort McCoy Emergency Management/CBRNE Office at 608-388-5107.


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