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News > 374th CES reassures Yokota: Community safe for personnel, residents
374th CES reassures Yokota: Community safe for personnel, residents

Posted 3/15/2011   Updated 3/15/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Robin Stanchak
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/15/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Following the earthquake at Yokota on March 11, many personnel and residents voiced concerns for base safety regarding facilities and structures within the installation.

Senior Master Sgt. William Arcuri, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical superintendent, spoke about several important base issues during a live radio broadcast on American Forces Network Tokyo's Eagle 810 March 15.

"First and foremost, I want to reassure everyone at Yokota that our facilities are safe. This includes our residential housing towers that are designed and constructed to withstand earthquakes," said Sergeant Arcuri.

As a result of the earthquake, the Tokyo Power Company has scheduled regional power outages throughout the Kanto Plain area. Yokota personnel and residents should be ready, regardless of what facility they are in, for when a blackout occurs.

"People need to be prepared for when these power outages happen. They're not going to have certain things available that they are normally used to having around," said Sergeant Arcuri. "It is important to plan ahead now, this way you have the supplies you need and can be sure you're safe during the outages."

The following is a list of safety precautions to help during power outages at Yokota.

- Have a flashlight and a supply of batteries available for each member of your household. Before a blackout occurs, check to ensure the flashlight is in good working order.

- If candles are used, closely monitor them and do not leave them unattended. Due to the aftershocks, commonly felt following an earthquake, leaving a candle or open flame unattended could pose a serious fire safety hazard.

- For residents who live in the tower housing buildings, it is imperative that use of the elevators be stopped 30 minutes prior to a scheduled power outage. This ensures that if the power should be turned off early, people do not get stuck in the elevator in the dark.

- Use the stairs when exiting the building. Make sure to hold on to the railing as you walk up/down, especially if there is low light visibility. Adults should assist young children to ensure they do not trip and fall.

- The 374th CES is currently working to install lighting and small generators in residential tower buildings, however, if the use of flashlights during an outage is highly encouraged.
Here is additional information regarding base facilities:

- During power outages, base housing and dormitories will be out of power. It will also affect elevators, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, lights, and any other electrical appliances and equipment.

- Community facilities such as the Commissary and The Exchange will have limited power during the outage. Only lights, some refrigeration and small appliances will be unaffected. 374th Force Support Squadron dining facilities, clubs and Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) facilities will have limited or no power available.

- In the event of a power outage, all AAFES facilities will be closed. If it is an outage that is scheduled in advance, the facility will close 60 minutes prior, and reopen immediately after power is restored.

- In the event of a power outage, the Commissary will be closed. If it is an outage that is scheduled in advance, the facility will close 30 minutes in advance, and reopen immediately after power is restored.

- The 374th Medical Group and the Samurai Café dining facility have back-up generators and emergency generators that will start automatically during a blackout.

- Critical airfield and operational facilities are backed up with emergency generators and will be started automatically or by the facility manager.

- Heating and hot water capability will not be impacted during a three hour outage. Air conditioners in other than critical facilities will either shutdown or operate at limited capability. 

"We want everyone to know that we're working hard to keep everything here on base in working order and keep our people safe," said Sergeant Arcuri.

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