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Andersen AFB holds first PrepareAthon

Senior Airman Louie Quintanilla, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency manager, hands out natural disaster preparation materials to a military family housing April 7, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The 36th CES Emergency Management Flight will be holding events to better educate and prepare Andersen Airmen for natural disasters during the month of April. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Smoot/Released)

Senior Airman Louie Quintanilla, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency manager, hands out natural disaster preparation materials to a military family housing resident April 7, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The 36th CES Emergency Management Flight will be holding events to better educate and prepare Andersen Airmen for natural disasters during the month of April. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Smoot/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- As members of Andersen Air Force Base, Airmen are responsible for ensuring their awareness and preparation for local natural disasters that come in many forms ranging from wildfires to typhoons.

Beginning this year, Andersen is participating in America's PrepareAthon Campaign, which was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Along with National Preparedness Month in September, this campaign benefits Airmen by preparing them for natural disasters they may face in Guam.

"We want people in the community to be aware of hazards that could affect their location and how to prepare for them," said Staff Sgt. Zachariah Kilmer, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Flight education and training section NCO in charge.

Guam is historically known to experience a variety of natural disasters.
In Guam, Airmen can expect to experience water spouts, tornados, heavy wind, typhoons, lightning and tsunamis.

This month, the 36th CES Emergency Management Flight is holding events to educate and prepare Andersen Airmen for these natural disasters.

On April 7 and 9, the emergency management flight distributed preparation materials to base housing residents. On April 14 and 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., they will have preparedness display booths in the Base Exchange at Andersen. April 21-23, they will be speaking to Department of Defense Education Activity school children about preparedness information and holding activities. The flight will also host a PrepareAthon 5k Run at Tarague Beach to end the PrepareAthon.

"(These events) give us a chance to get additional information out there to people," Quintanilla said. "We have all of this information, all of this knowledge and with (PrepareAthon) we have a whole month to disseminate the information and try to get people aware."

The flight works to inform people how to better prepare for natural disasters, but they say it's ultimately up to the individual to be ready when a natural disaster hits.

"What people can do to better prepare themselves is police their area and really stock up on their disaster kit," Quintanilla said. "The more prepped they are with that kit -- having all of their food, water and medical needs tucked away -- the safer they're going to be."

During earthquakes and typhoons, Quintanilla advises residents to secure trampolines to the ground and store heavier items lower to the ground to prevent objects from falling and injuring people.

For more information about PrepareAthon, visit www.ready.gov/prepare or visit the Andersen AFB Emergency Management Facebook page.