MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C.- --
Whether it be the sight of smoke and flames escaping from a
home, or a total blackout during stormy weather, safety procedures and education
can help families remain safe through unexpected emergencies.
In support of National Preparedness Month, the Public Works
Department and Cherry Point Fire and Emergency Services have dedicated time to
educate air station personnel and the local community on precautionary measures
they can take to keep their families safe.
“We go out into the community and to local elementary
schools where we teach the students about fire safety procedures and what to do
in case of a fire,” said Brandee Ridgway, a fire inspector with the fire
department here. “They learn crucial procedures that can help them escape from
a fire, contact emergency services and keep themselves safe until the fire is
According to Ridgway, they teach individuals to maintain and
check their emergency safety equipment, know their address and know their emergency
contact information. They are also taught protocol for exiting a burning
building and receive warnings about the dangers of reentering hazardous areas.
“Our focus this year is the importance of having working
smoke detectors in all rooms, to include Marines’ barracks rooms and duty
huts,” explained Ridgway. “Smoke detectors are the first line of defense during
a fire. Maintaining working smoke detectors can alert homeowners to fires long
before they become out of control.”
Fire department personnel encourage people to conduct
practice drills in their homes to test the equipment and develop an emergency
exit plan. Official fire inspections can be conducted by department personnel upon
request to the air station’s fire department.
Personnel with the Public Works Department also play a key
role in safety awareness during National Preparedness Month. They educate families
on the effects of cold weather and the dangers associated with fallen power
lines and power outage issues.
“We support events like the Hurricane Preparedness Fair and various
destructive weather drills by providing pamphlets which are sent out from
Cherry Point’s Mission Assurance team,” said Michael McGee, the facilities manager
at the Public Works Department. “Many of our personnel involved are volunteers from
the community and they pass their knowledge and expertise on to others to
continue promoting safety.”
According to McGee, families are encouraged to report power
outages to Public Works, as soon as possible. Reports can be called into public works at
“With a more educated community, the mission of the Marines
will not be affected by mishaps,” explained McGee. “With the information
provided the Marines and their families help Public Works identify downed lines
and make repairs in a timely fashion, all while still keeping everyone away
from potential hazards.”
Fire safety tips:
-Replace batteries on smoke detectors in accordance to their
-Run tests on smoke detectors by pressing and holding the
-Have a home evacuation plan in case of a home fire.
-Ensure all members of household know emergency safety
-Install a smoke detector in every bedroom.
Downed power line safety tips:
-Report power outages to Public Works as soon as possible.
-Never assume that a
downed power line is not energized.
try to remove debris near downed power lines.
any suspicious power problems as they may lead to power outages.
hook a portable generator to a house electrical system.