BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --
From natural disasters such as tornadoes or hurricanes, to man-made disasters such as chemical or biological contaminants, the emergency management specialist must be prepared and have a plan for every possibility.
Airman 1st Class Zachary Cates, an emergency manager at the 117th Air Refueling Wing, explains that his responsibility is to respond to emergency situations, mitigate situations that may happen, and plan for emergencies that could arise.
During local emergencies and natural disasters, the EM team will roll out the Mobile Emergency Operations Center. The MEOC is a fully-equipped stand-alone communications system designed to assist in domestic operations, including local and state law enforcement, fire departments and emergency management agencies.
The emergency management team is also responsible for training all base military personnel to meet required mission readiness. This is done by a series of training classes known as the Ability to Survive and Operate rodeo. The ATSO rodeo trains military personnel on how to wear the chemical warfare defense equipment in order to survive and operate in a contaminated environment such as chemical and biological contamination, along with radiological particles.
Emergency managers are highly trained personnel who are dedicated to the minimization of loss of life, to meeting the needs of the mission, and to avoiding damage during a disaster.