North Carolina Air National Guard; Staying Aware - Always Prepared Published Oct. 20, 2014 By Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran 145th Public Affairs CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When it comes to disasters, normally there is little or no warning. Depending on where you live, you seldom get an announcement that gives the exact time and location when a devastating tornado, hurricane, earthquake or even a major fire might happen. Whether naturally occurring, man-made, or technological, un-expected disasters threaten the safety of our personnel and jeopardize our ability to accomplish the mission. Do you have an evacuation plan? Where can you go for the best protection? Is your emergency kit ready? How about medical supplies, food, water, blankets? The better prepared you are, the more likely you'll be able to save a life. Knowing what to do when disasters happen and how fast you can react may mean the difference between safety of you, your family, your pets and even the lives of those around you. The North Carolina Air National Guard, (NCANG), 145th Civil Engineer Readiness and Emergency Management Flight (CES/EM), work hard all year to encourage Airmen and their families to "Be Ready!" Recurring events like National Preparedness Month, Active Shooter Exercises and Natural Disaster Table Top Planning help keep awareness on the forefront of everyone's minds. With the mission to support the community, the 145th Airlift Wing, CES/EM also maintains one of 21 Mobile Emergency Operations Center's (MEOC) for the Air National Guard. The MEOC is a quick response asset which provides the community's Incident Commanders interoperable communications and emergency response support for various events and exercises across North Carolina and the Southeastern region. Through the continuous efforts of our installation's "Be Ready" campaign, our community will be armed with the knowledge needed to enhance our national security, resilience, and readiness. National Preparedness Month specifically is an annual campaign started by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security in the year following 9/11. The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of personal preparedness and to increase the number of people who are prepared for emergencies. As an annual requirement we surpass this through coordination with the local City of Charlotte Fire Department, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and various agencies. Historically, we have hosted an Animal Control Decontamination exercise, coordinated on Federal Aviation Administration exercises and on a daily bases maintain a unique Air National Guard response mission intertwined with the Fire and Emergency Services community. Colonel Marshall C. Collins, Commander of the 145th Airlift Wing, said, "I encourage everyone to learn about our potential hazards, put together an emergency supply kit, make an emergency plan, and join in local efforts to become a partner in preparedness. Only by working together as a team can we truly "Be Ready" for emergencies." For more information and resources to help you and your family "Be Ready," contact the Wing Readiness and Emergency Management office 145th CES/CEX at 704-391-4172 or visit http://www.BeReady.af.mil.