Base Evacuation Checklist

Checklist 2 min
Use this guide when you're managing a base evacuation to ensure you don't skip critical responsibilities.

U.S. military bases may be evacuated due to natural disasters, public safety concerns, widespread illnesses or political unrest. Getting people out of danger is the immediate goal, but keeping commanders, stakeholders and the public informed during the incident is also vitally important. Follow this checklist to keep lines of communications open and ensure all public affairs tasks are carried out during a base evacuation.

  1. Verify the situation with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Crisis Action Team (CAT).
  2. Cancel all scheduled or current public affairs events.
  3. Annotate details of the situation on the Accident and Incident Reporting Sheet.
  4. Provide public affairs guidance to the commander within one hour of receiving notice of the event.
  5. Contact higher headquarters (HHQ) for guidance as needed.
  6. Contact local officials.
  7. Receive the initial news release from EOC and disseminate it to the appropriate publics.
  8. Activate the Straight Talk Center or text messaging service within four hours of the incident via answering machine or internet. Provide base personnel with:
    1. the authoritative point of contact.
    2. accurate information about the status of the accident.
    3. command’s actions.
  9. Provide the initial DoD or Service position on the breaking news story to the press within four hours of the event.
  10. Document and respond to all media queries within eight hours of the event.
    1. Clear all responses with the commander before release and utilize previously released info.
    2. Forward all queries to HHQ for logging.
  11. Publish information in the base newsletter at least weekly via the internet or paper.
  12. Provide an after-action report (AAR) to HHQ within seven days after the end of the incident, containing:
    1. a chronology of PA actions.
    2. problems encountered.
    3. community relations aspects.
    4. lessons learned.
  13. Consult your social media strategy and decision matrix to determine if, what and where to post.
  14. Consider using During a Crisis: Social Media Strategy Guidelines throughout the crisis.
  15. Prepare a briefing card that includes a list of all questions news organizations and the public could ask about the incident. Each question should:
    1. include an answer with information that is known at the time.
    2. indicate whether and when the information can be released.
    3. include an explanation of why the information is not available or when it is expected to be available.
  16. Revise briefing card as needed to reflect new or updated information about the incident.
  17. Document all activities on the events log.