National PrepareAthon Day to support safety with NOAA promo

By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /

Sept. 30 is the national day of action, National PrepareAthon Day, in which Fort Benning’s Emergency Management Office will team up with WTVM meteorologist Derek Kinkade to promote emergency preparedness from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Main Post Exchange.

While at the Exchange, customers can purchase a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio from Army and Air Force Exchange Service, and the Emergency Management team will be available to program the radios and assist people with planning what supplies are needed for their emergency kits. AAFES will have multiple “preparedness” items displayed and available for purchase during the promotion.

For those who aren’t familiar, a NOAA Weather Radio is a 24-hour source for weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information.

“If Fort Benning experiences severe weather at night, while you’re asleep, you may not hear the Giant Voice outdoor sirens or you may not hear alerts on your phone, but you will hear this radio. Once it is programmed, it’s dormant until a watch or warning is issued for your county, and then it makes a very loud audible tone that will get your attention,” said Terry Wydra, installation emergency manager.

Not only will the team be assisting with programming weather radios, they will also have educational pamphlets and brochures for “All Hazards” that will assist families with preparing and planning for emergencies other than weather.

“The goal of the Ready Army campaign is to increase the resilience of the Army community and enhance readiness for a wide range of hazards. For the Fort Benning area, the most notable hazards are severe thunderstorms and tornados. The program encourages the public to ‘prepare today for the hazards of tomorrow by encouraging them to Be Informed, Make A Plan, Build a Kit and Get Involved,'” said Tina Sandell, emergency management specialist.

Fort Benning uses a “Giant Voice” mass warning and notification system consisting of 19 outdoor sirens to reach the community in the event of a potential emergency. A “Giant Voice” test warning is conducted every Saturday at noon. Patrons can also register at for emergency alert messages to be sent via phones, text and email.

“In addition to the sirens and registering for the alerts, we encourage the Fort Benning population to have a NOAA Weather Radio for their homes as an additional safety measure to receive severe weather alerts and information,” said Sandell.

For more information about the Ready Army Program visit

WHAT: NOAA Weather Radio Promo (Fort Benning Emergency Management Staff and WTVM meteorologists will program NOAA weather radios purchased at AAFES)



WHEN: Sept. 30, 2016, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.



WHERE: Fort Benning Main Exchange

Fort Benning Alerts Mass Warning Notification System registration flyer

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