Ahead of the storm: Team MacDill conducts HUREX

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shannon Bowman
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Team MacDill conducted a hurricane readiness exercise Apr. 20–22 to review unit checklists and plans for tropical storms and hurricanes to ensure installation operations will continue during these severe weather events.

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is about six weeks away, but the past six seasons have each began with an early start.

The official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30. Hurricane preparation is something that comes with the territory of residing in Florida or any of its coastal area.

 “It is imperative for Team MacDill to plan, train and exercise with a comprehensive and unified plan as we approach hurricane season,” said Col. Ben Robins, the 6th Air Refueling Wing vice commander. “This preparation ensures mission continuity for the 6th Air Refueling Wing and our mission partners, while ensuring the safety of our personnel, their families and our assets.”

On April 8, researchers at Colorado State University released their first formal forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. CSU’s forecast predicts an above-average hurricane season in 2021 with 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.

The CSU release also stated that coastal residents should be reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make for an active season, and individuals should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

According to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron, installation emergency management office, having a plan is the most effective thing Team MacDill can do to mitigate the effects of a hurricane.

When it comes to planning, the 6th CES EM office advises the following actions to take, in preparation of a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning:

Actions to consider


  • Fill up your vehicle’s gas tank
  • Have enough perishable food and water available to last for several days
  • Store important documents in waterproof containers
  • Have an emergency supply kit available in a safe room
  • Have a plan for pet(s)
  • Bring in outdoor objects and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Secure your home by closing and boarding up windows and removing outside antennas.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
  • Store drinking water in disinfected bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking pots.
  • Review evacuation plan and assemble your emergency supply kit.
  • Secure boats and/or RVs or move to a designated safe place. Use ropes or tie down straps to secure boats to trailers. Use tie-downs to anchor boat trailers and/or RVs to the ground or structures.
  • Make a record of your personal property. Take photos or video of the exterior and interior of your home, including personal belongings. Store the documents in a safe place. If directed to evacuate, take the documents with you


  • Listen to local radio or television for progress reports.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway in your residence. If in a multiple story building, go to the first or second floors and stay in interior rooms away from windows.
  • Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed.
  • Do not go outside when the eye passes over. Winds and rain will soon resume.


  • If in a safe location, stay there until directed by local authorities that it is safe to leave.
  • If you evacuated your community, do not return until authorities say it is safe.
  • Tune into local radio and television stations for information about caring for your household, where to find medical help and how to apply for assistance.
  • Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until notified that it is safe.
  • Talk to your children about what happened and what they can do to help.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.
  • Enter your home with caution. Beware of insects and animals driven to higher ground by the floodwaters.
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
  • Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
  • Report property damage to your insurance agent immediately.

Be ready for hurricane season. Today you can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone and review/update insurance policies.

You can also make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season.

If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins on June 1. 

Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.

In today’s dynamic weather environment, preparation, communication and flexibility are key to keeping MacDill AFB’s mission moving forward.

For additional information concerning hurricane preparedness visit: https://www.macdill.af.mil/Hurricane-Information/