Hickam - Pearl Harbor prepare for evacuees just in case

JBPHH personnel set up receiving center. Photo by Jim Mendoza
JBPHH personnel set up receiving center. Photo by Jim Mendoza
Anna Flowers
Anna Flowers
JBPHH Installation Deployment officer, James Montgomery
JBPHH Installation Deployment officer, James Montgomery

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM (HawaiiNewsNow) - "The flow of traffic will actually go from the top of the stage," Anna Flowers said to military personnel who were transforming the recreation room at Hickam's Airmen's Center into a staging ground.

Flowers, the head of the Warfighter and Family Service Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH), was supervising the set up Friday as military personnel assembled signs and civilian contractors connected computers.

The large room will be the processing center if President Barrack Obama orders a mass evacuation of Americans from Japan.

"Most of the people coming through here may only be here for just a few hours. So it's about just taking care of their immediate needs," Flowers said.

If necessary the center can handle a lot of people.

"We have the capability of processing about 700 passengers a day in this area here," JBPHH Installation Deployment officer James Montgomery said.

An evacuation would include military families, Department of Defense dependents, even civilians.

The work stations in the center would be staffed by agency representatives, experts in military and government worker issues and other essential services.

"Say they had to leave on fairly short notice and they forgot some medication. The medical folks are here to take care of that," Flowers said.

As the staging area takes shape, another building acts as ground zero for outgoing aid to Japan.

In the next few days JBPHH will send hundreds of skilled personnel and six tons of disaster relief supplies to Japan.

"Water, medical supplies, and any type of infrastructure needs or supplies," Montgomery said.

The processing center would be a pit stop for evacuees on their way to the U.S. mainland. But it can offer more.

"There is plans in place to provide lodging, food, comfort -- as needed," Flowers said.

The hope is the services being offered at JBPHH will never be needed. The anticipation is that they might be needed.

Flowers encourages military dependents who have already left Japan to contact Navy and Air Force authorities at www.navyfamily.navy.mil or http://afpaas.af.mil.

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