JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Col. Andrew Purath, 11th Wing Commander, has officially declared Hurricane Condition 4 for the base, which means there is a possibility for winds greater than 39 miles per hour within the next 72 hours.
The current forecast calls for negligible impacts to day-to-day operations on JBA, but the HURCON 4 declaration directs personnel to continue specific preparations. The HURCON status number is not a reflection of a storm's strength; it is determined according to the timeframe of expected impacts, with lower numbers signifying a storm getting closer to the installation.
“We expect winds between 30 and 40 miles per hour on Friday and Saturday, and rainfall up to 10 inches over the next several days,” Purath said. “We believe the impact to JBA will be minimal, however, we remain concerned about members of our team and their families who live off-base in areas prone to flooding. We encourage them to continue to monitor their state, county and local emergency management agencies for local guidance.”
Hurricane Florence is currently located in the Atlantic Ocean and is classified as a Category 4 storm with winds between 130 and 156 miles per hour. The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for the eye of Florence to make landfall on the North Carolina coast on Thursday, Sept. 13.
"The storm could and will likely change its path, which could make the impacts slightly greater or less than is forecasted today," Purath added.
For updates, JBA personnel and residents should remain in touch with their chain of command, follow Joint Base Andrews on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jointbaseandrews) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/JBA_NAFW), regularly check https://www.jba.af.mil, and call in to the Straight Talk Line at 301-981-5995.
Base officials also continue to recommend all personnel and residents secure all loose items or equipment and develop a plan for evacuation in case it becomes necessary. Those plans should include knowing evacuation routes, meeting locations, and relevant contact information; acquiring flashlights, radios, batteries, and extra cash; and preparing food, water, pet supplies, emergency kits.
JBA residents are also encouraged to review FEMA's hurricane prep guide online: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf
Additional helpful information can be found at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency pages linked below:
Flood-prone areas: https://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/floodProneZones.aspx
Preparing for a hurricane: https://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/resources-hurricane.aspx#beforetips
Disaster supply kit ideas: https://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/DisasterSupplyKit.aspx