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Post Disaster

Evacuations from Navy installations and surrounding areas:

Authorities may direct post-event evacuation or movement to long-term shelters, remote safe havens, or a designated place away from the affected area. No matter which type or size of mass care facility you move to, keep these things in mind:

  • Even though mass care shelters and havens often provide water, food, medicine, and basic sanitary facilities, you should plan to take an Disaster Supplies kit with you.
  • Alcoholic beverages, weapons, and smoking are prohibited in all shelters, local safe havens, and most remote safe havens.
  • Evacuation conditions can involve living with many people in close proximity, so it is important to cooperate with local shelter and haven managers and others assisting them.

shelter is a publicly identified, certified, supplied, staffed, and insured mass care facility where endangered people can find temporary protection for a limited time. Navy regions and installations do not develop, maintain, or operate certified shelters.

local safe haven is a facility onboard the installation that provides temporary protection during large-scale incidents, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

remote safe haven is a facility onboard a geographically distant DoD installation or facility that provides short- to medium-term lodging of displaced personnel during large-scale incidents, such as hurricanes and extended wildfires.

Evacuating to Lackland AFB:

  • Inform your command’s EM of any special needs in advance so the hospital is ready when you arrive.
  • Upon arrival, proceed to Arnold Hal, Bldg. 5506, for in-processing.
  • Bring only one piece of luggage per person to in-processing.

If you have to evacuate:

  • Listen to a battery-powered radio for instructions and the location of emergency shelters.
  • Motel rooms will be scarce, so plan ahead.
  • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
  • Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Lock your home.
  • Use travel routes specified by disaster officials.
  • Turn of all lights and unplug all electrical appliances except refrigerators and freezers. Set your refrigerator and freezer at coldest level.
  • Shut off water, gas, and electricity, if instructed to do so.
  • Let others know when you left and where you are going. Inform your chain of command of your emergency plans.
  • Make sure you have your mission-essential or recovery card.
  • Take a recent utility bill with your current address to prove that you live in the area. Your military ID and driver’s license may not get you back into the disaster zone after the storm.
  • Make arrangements for pets. Animals are not allowed in most public shelters. 

When disaster strikes ...

Report your status by telephone to your chain of command as soon as possible after the event. If you are at home and you know you must report to your duty station, do so immediately. Otherwise, do not report to duty unless specifically told to do so.

For post-evacuation instructions, call the Hurricane Emergency Hotline at 1-877-989-6743, or go through your chain of command.

Remain calm and patient. Put your plan into action.

Check for injuries and seek medical attention if necessary.

Listen to your battery-powered radio for news and instructions.

Use flashlights. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.

Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly. Shut off any other damaged utilities. (You will need a professional to turn gas back on.)

Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, and other flammable liquids immediately.

Confine or secure your pets.

Call your family contact--do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.

Check on your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.

Stay away from downed power lines.

Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off.

Water Supply

Do not eat or drink anything which came in contact with flood water, as it will be contaminated. Contaminated water can contain microorganisms that cause diseases such as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. You should purify all water of uncertain purity before using it for drinking, food preparation or hygiene.

  • Boiling is the safest method of purifying water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking.
  • Disinfection. You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms. Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, color-safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners. Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.
  • Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot's lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

Hidden Water Sources in Your Home

If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in your hot-water tank, pipes and ice cubes. As a last resort, you can use water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the bowl!). Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You'll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines.

To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house. To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot-water faucet. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty.


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