We Stand Ready -- In All Aspects

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- The 127th Wing motto is "We Stand Ready." This wing has proven on numerous occasions that we are ready, willing, and able to fulfill any and all tasks given to us. We've deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Guam, and many other countries that some of us did not even know existed previously. We have fulfilled all of these obligations with voluntary mobilizations, which shows the level of commitment this wing possesses.

You have proven that you are ready to deploy; however, current world events have led me to consider whether we are as ready on the home front. Hurricane Sandy has caused me to examine my readiness if we lost basic services for an extended period of time. The Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy made me wonder how I or my family would react in that type of situation. Our Michigan winters have forced me to evaluate my readiness to outlast one of our bigger storms.

The wing has ensured that we are up to date with our wills, power of attorneys and family care plans. But is your family ready? Do you have a plan or have you made your wishes known if you, your spouse, or both of you should pass? Have you considered establishing a trust, living will, or some other type of estate planning? These types of action are not just for those approaching retirement. In fact, they may be equally useful for younger families.

I previously mentioned the Sandy Hook tragedy; would we or our families know what to do? We have had some active shooter training, but our families probably have not. It would be wise to have a discussion with your family about how to appropriately respond to that kind of a situation, much like the discussion we have had about what to do if the house were on fire. It may equip them with a few options to use if they were ever to encounter similar circumstances.

Most of us have a plan and some resources ready for a natural disaster. The experts recommend that you have an emergency strategy for a 72-hour duration. This may be a good time to reevaluate those plans and to look at your supplies and resources. Many of us have deployed for 30, 60 or more days at a time. If a natural disaster were to occur you may be tasked to support relief efforts and leave with very short notice. Would your family be able to handle one of these situations without you? They need to be prepared, too.

This is Michigan, and it's surprising how many people do not have a winter survival kit in their car. It need not be anything elaborate, just a few extra hats and gloves, a couple blankets, some warmer boots as well as shovel. It can get pretty cold waiting for that tow truck to show up. By the way, a bag of kitty litter or sand makes for great traction when you're stuck.

My intent in writing this article was not to alarm anyone; I would just like everyone to take a look at their personal readiness. If you need more information you can go to the 127th Wing Emergency Readiness Office CoP on the Air Force Portal, or contact your county Emergency Management Offices. The JAG's office can assist you with legal documents, wills and power of attorneys.

Remember - "We Stand Ready" pertains to all aspects of your life.