Keesler hurricane prep: Stay safe this season Published May 5, 2022 By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis 81st Training Wing Public Affairs KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Hurricane season officially begins June 1, but it’s never too early to plan ahead to protect your family and property from damaging storms. Every year the Gulf Coast is battered by hurricanes, and Keesler is no exception. Most recently, Hurricane Ida swept through the area in 2021. Hurricanes not only come with damaging wind and rain, but they can also cause tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and even waterspouts. During hurricane season, it is essential for Keesler residents to plan ahead. Doing so can save valuable time, resources and energy when the storms do arrive. “The season might start June 1, but hurricanes can’t read a calendar,” said Wallace Braden, Vectrus emergency management representative. “You want to make your plans ahead of time, so that you’re ready when a hurricane does come.” Braden has been working in emergency management for almost 40 years and has successfully seen his way through various emergency situations. His goal for Keesler is to maintain the high level of preparedness, even with a constant flux of students in training. “We always have people coming and going at training bases, which just means that we need to keep the flow of information going all the time,” said Braden. “You need to understand the specifics of where you’re living at the moment and prepare ahead of time.” Both Keesler’s on and off-base residents are encouraged to make a hurricane kit, know local routes for evacuation and determine plans for dependents in the event of a hurricane. It is recommended that Keesler residents and families turn on their phone’s emergency alerts, download the Keesler Air Force Base app and monitor Keesler’s social media pages for the most up-to-date information. You can also visit Keesler’s website for more information on different HURCON levels. For additional information on hurricanes, visit BeReady.af.mil and download the following guides: how to prepare for a hurricane; be prepared for a hurricane; prepare your organization for a hurricane. “The more you understand ahead of time about what to do when those hurricanes hit, the less stress there will be when they do come,” said Braden. For more information about hurricane preparedness, please visit the sites linked above or email Keesler’s Office Emergency Management.