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A&FRC becomes a one-stop shopping center...for help

  • Published
  • By Chris Calkins
  • 45 SW Public Affairs
As we all know, living here in Florida, especially during the often dangerous and always tough-to-predict hurricane season, can cause some serious concern and real-life dilemmas for many 45th Space Wing personnel.

In the event of such a catastrophe, by direction of the Gen. Edward L. Bolton, the Wing's commanding general, the Airmen and Family Readiness Center becomes the installation Emergency Family Assistance Control Center and acts as the focal point for helping the 45th Space Wing community - and our tenant activities -- address, prepare for, and respond to crisis situations.

"A catastrophic event could produce mass casualties and displace members of our communities from their homes, schools, and places of employment," said Ms. Lillian Cassidy, Chief, and A&FRC. "Damage to transportation, communication systems, and other critical infrastructure could impact our families both on and off base. If that's the case, they need to know we (the EFACC) are here to help them get through any situation by doing whatever needs to be done," she said emphatically.

She also was quick to remind folks that several other agencies will be on hand to offer much needed help if necessary.

In addition to the A&FRC staff, EFACC representatives include Mental Health, Chapel, Base Legal, Finance, Force Support, Casualty Assistance, Public Affairs and the American Red Cross, as well as other Non-government Organizations (NGOs) as appropriate who can provide:

 Assessment of people needs impacted by the disaster
 Emotional/spiritual support
 Mental Health assessment and intervention
 Financial counseling and financial aid (Air Force, Navy, Marine, Army, Coast Guard)
 Financial counseling on military benefits and entitlements, and assistance to federal employees
 Legal assistance as required, i.e., filing a claim for lost of damaged personal property, counseling and preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney
 Child Development Center staff to provide on-site child care
 Travel and relocation assistance when needed

"One of our missions is to provide to support to every member of the Total Force and Total Family." Ms. Cassidy said. "We also want to provide a consolidated staging area where families and individuals (to include families of the responders) can obtain disaster relief assistance and/or support, current information from leadership, and contingency services. Think of us as a place where you can do your one-stop shopping ... for help."

The bottom line, she said, is a rapid return to a stable environment and mission ready status for the Wing.

"When the wing is up and running again, we know we've done our job, with the help of a whole lot of very caring people. We really do have your back around here," she said with a smile.