09/26/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2023 06:29
The Defense Logistics Agency observed National Preparedness Month with more than 50 activities throughout the agency, culminating with an expo Sept. 19 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.
National Preparedness Month is held in September as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready Campaign, aimed to educate Americans on how to prepare and respond to emergencies.
"This is the 12th consecutive year that DLA is participating in the annual campaign, and our focus is preparing our employees and families so they know what to do during disasters, reduce impact of these events, improve recovery and increase resiliency," said Donald Phillips, director of DLA Installation Management.
This year, the campaign's overall focus is on preparing older adults for disaster, specifically older adults in communities that are disproportionally impacted by events that threaten the nation, according to the FEMA website.
There are several factors that make older adults more vulnerable after disasters, according to the American Red Cross. This includes a greater likelihood to suffer from chronic conditions and the need for medications, a greater reliance on assistive devices like walkers, and an increased likelihood of social isolation.
"While there is a need for ensuring our elder family members are ready and resilient, many of the same preparedness activities apply to all of us. For example, this means having a plan for emergencies, knowing where to go during evacuations, having a way to contact family and friends if something happens, and having an emergency kit with important documents and medications," Phillips said.
Activities held throughout DLA during the month included tests of mass warning and notification systems, and demonstrations and training on how to respond to active shooters or hazardous materials. Training exercises ranged from small groups to large-scale events involving employees and local emergency services.
"These exercises serve to develop the skills for first responders and create muscle memory for the workforce," Phillips said.
While September is National Preparedness Month, being prepared is a year-round task for DLA, Phillips said. Planning starts at the individual level, both at home and in the workplace, he added.
One key piece of emergency information that employees at the McNamara Headquarters Complex should know is the Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services number, 703-781-1800, said Assistant Fire Chief Justin Weaver. This emergency number goes directly to the installation's emergency services, he said.
For information about how to make emergency plans at home, visit the Ready.gov website.
September is also National Insider Threat Awareness Month, and the DLA Insider Threat group provided information about this issue at the expo. This year's theme is bystander engagement.
"We think every day is Insider Threat Awareness Day," said Jennifer Starling, lead of the Insider Threat Incident Response group. "The more awareness we can bring to this, the more employees know what to look out for."
Insider threat occurs when someone uses his or her authorized access, wittingly or unwittingly, to harm their organization or the security of the United States. It's important for coworkers and friends to notice if a person is acting differently so they can step up to intervene and report concerning behaviors, she said.