D.C. — The Army launched the "Ready Army" campaign
Sept. 2, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security’s
National Preparedness Month, which encompasses the seventh anniversary
of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Members of the Louisiana National
Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team stage their
vehicles next to the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New
Orleans. These Soldiers are activated for security missions in
support of hurricane operations throughout the state. (Photo
by Sgt. Michael L. Owens)
Ready Army is designed to
prepare the entire Army Family at installations and communities across
the nation and around the world for all potential hazards, natural and
manmade, officials said.
"While partnered and aligned with the Department of Homeland
Security’s national preparedness campaign called ‘Ready,’ Ready
Army is specific to Army communities and is intended for use at the
installation level," said James Platt, chief of the Asymmetrical
Warfare Office’s Protection Division. "Quite a few products
have been developed for Soldiers, civilians and their families to
inform them about all types of hazards and encouraging individual,
family and community emergency preparedness," Platt said.
being sent to installations include an implementation guide, public
service announcements, briefings, brochures, posters, emergency
management kit information and readiness checklists, family emergency
management planning templates, an electronic media kit, children’s
activities, parent/teacher resource guide and Web-based tools.
command and installation levels we’re asking that public affairs
offices partner with their emergency preparedness personnel, directors
of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, first responders and
family program personnel to promote this program," said Col. Jon
Dahms, chief of Planning Support in Army public affairs. "This
program will educate our families on disaster preparedness and
motivate them to ‘Get a Kit, Make a Plan and Be Informed,’ as the
program’s motto encourages," Dahms said.
Powell, Ready Army program manager, said the campaign’s concepts
were tested in a one-year pilot program at Fort Hood, Texas, and at
Army installations in Germany.
March, during Ready Army Week, Fort Hood emergency preparedness
personnel worked with city officials of nearby Killeen to distribute
brochures and pamphlets that provide valuable information about how to
prepare for emergencies," said Powell.
part of an after-action report provided by the Fort Hood pilot
program, the Army has identified several "best practices"
that other installations should consider as they launch this program
at the local and installation level. They are:
Secure leadership buy-in: Brief senior leadership on both garrison and
mission sides, and area civic and community leaders.
• Have a campaign strategy ready by working closely with Morale,
Welfare and Recreation and the Public Affairs Office.
• Integrate Ready Army across the installation, all units,
organizations and local community partnerships through a variety of
outreach methods, including proclamations, brochures, promotional
items, speaking engagements, and media coverage.
• Have Ready Army fact sheets available for all types of emergencies.
For example, tornado, flood, hurricane, lightning, wildfires, house
fires and even school shootings.
Ready Army sell itself as important every day, every month, every
• Place static displays in areas of greatest outreach potential on post
and in the community.
Mark Peterson, a Fort Hood Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
Nuclear, or high-yield Explosives operations specialist, started at
the top by presenting the Ready Army campaign to Fort Hood and
community leaders in the fall of 2007 at a meeting that focused on
quarterly "Fort Hood 2020" meeting is attended by
installation commanders, senior spouses, area school district
superintendents, and educational partners.
founded in the 1990s by a Fort Hood commander, the program is intended
to identify issues and brainstorm solutions regarding about 30,000
area military students and their education.
a kickoff ceremony, Fort Hood’s installation commander signed a
proclamation that urged all residents to become active in emergency
preparedness. The mayor of Killeen urged the city to do the same,
signing a twin proclamation.
was the springboard," Peterson said. "Our community is very
City of Killeen received a $20,000 grant to assist with the community
effort, Peterson said.
In addition to these best practices, some ideas for events and
promotions at the installations are school activities to educate
children on the need for a family plan so they know where to go and
what to do in an emergency; displays at commissaries and post
exchanges highlighting the program; emergency preparedness exercises
and demonstrations highlighting the program; presentations and
demonstrations by local emergency preparedness personnel and
installation-sponsored safety programs.
key part of National Preparedness Month will be the debut of the Army
Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System or ADPAAS,
officials said, adding that this will be the official Army tool for
personnel accountability in the event of a natural or man-made
"Hurricane Katrina caught the services off guard with no real
procedures in place to gain and maintain accountability of personnel
and their family members," said Lt. Col. Trudy Leonard, chief of
the Personnel Contingency Cell for the Army G-1.
was built based on a directive from the Department of Defense to
address this issue. This Web-based tool allows families to update
information by using the Internet or calling a toll-free number. In
addition, ADPAAS will assist officials to determine the status of Army
Families and then provide assistance as needed. For more information
on ADPAAS, visit: https://adpaas.army.mil.
bottom line is that preparedness increases the resiliency of America’s
fighting forces and supports Soldiers who are forward-deployed,"
Leonard said. "We want our Soldiers downrange to feel comfortable
that their families are being taken care of at home."