From Navy Region Southeast Public Affairs
Navy installations throughout Florida were preparing for heavy weather as Hurricane Irma hit south Florida and skimmed the eastern coast.
Commander, Navy Region Southeast, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, directed the evacuation of non-essential personnel and family members from Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, Sept. 5.
"Their safety and security is a top priority," Bolivar said. Approximately 50-60 mission essential personnel are remaining behind to maintain essential functions on the installation.
All Naval Air Station Key West personnel were designated a safe haven area of within 300 miles of Atlanta.
At the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, 166 non-essential personnel and family members and 97 pets were airlifted from the facility off the Florida coast to a safe haven.
"Additionally," Bolivar said, "I've directed that when mandatory orders are issued by competent civilian authorities in Florida counties that could be impacted by Hurricane Irma, non-essential active duty military, civilian employees, drilling reservists and authorized dependents residing in those counties are authorized to evacuate."
Personnel and family members who evacuate must be placed on evacuation orders issued by their parent command. Personnel and families will be reimbursed for lodging and per diem at the approved rate for their designated safe haven.
All Navy personnel are encouraged to keep emergency contact information updated at all times through the NFAAS, which can be accessed at www.navyfamily.navy.mil, or through the NFAAS smartphone app available for both iOS or Android. If personnel need support, they can complete a needs assessment through the site or the app on their smartphone and a Navy counselor will make contact to provide assistance.