Is your family safe?
By 2nd Lt. David Liapis, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 11, 2012
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
Even though you hear the sound of the "giant voice" test every Wednesday at noon, you are still startled a bit as the unsynchronized sound begins to wail across the installation.
Your heart beats a little harder though when you realize it's not noon, and it's not Wednesday.
"Lockdown, lockdown, lockdown" announces the giant voice. "Active threat base-wide, active threat base-wide. Lockdown, lockdown, lockdown!"
You pause only for a moment after the first repetition of "lockdown" and think, "Did I miss the 'exercise, exercise, exercise' at the beginning?" You hesitate a moment longer at the end hoping to hear the word "exercise," but you don't. This is the real deal. Now what?
It requires almost no thought anymore because of the multiple active-shooter exercises you have been through - you immediately take cover in an office, barricade the door, block out any windows and lay low.
You are confident you are as safe as you can be, but what about your family? Did they hear the announcement? Do they know what to do? Where are they? The commissary? The Base Exchange? School? At your base residence?
If you are in an area where you are safe, make a phone call to ensure your spouse heard the giant voice announcement or is executing the plan you should have in place, explained TSgt Pedell Fuller, 366th Security Forces Squadron Chief, Intelligence Branch.
"A plan in place?" you may be asking yourself.
The last place you want to regret not having established a plan to keep your family safe is while laying on a floor in a darkened room with an active threat on the installation.
"If we are prepared and we are trained, and our families are prepared, you're less of a target," said Fuller.
The best thing you can do today is be well prepared for tomorrow. This includes ensuring your family knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Having a solid plan in place will not only help keep you and your loved ones safe, it will let you focus on the mission rather than have to worry your family does not know what to do if an incident of this nature ever occurs on your installation.
"If people aren't prepared, somebody's going to get hurt and lives will be lost that shouldn't be lost," Fuller stated. "Nobody wants that."
For more information about what you and your family should do in the event of an active shooter or any other base security threats, contact Security Forces at 828-2256.