DALLAS – With hurricane season underway, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is prepared to support authorized shoppers during the most challenging times.
2019 proved to be a quieter season than 2018, with three major hurricanes last year. When Hurricane Dorian struck the Caribbean and the Carolinas in August and September, the Exchange shipped nearly 150,000 emergency supplies to stores, allowing most Exchanges and Expresses from Florida to Virginia to stay open. Despite last year’s lull, the Exchange is preparing for the worst while hoping for the best this year.
“The Exchange is all in to serve, especially during disasters,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Should our stores be affected by a hurricane, we have internal processes in place and the experience to ensure water, batteries, flashlights, generators and other critical supplies are pushed to areas they are most needed.”
The Exchange Disaster Support Group (DSG) meets before hurricane season to review existing plans and guidance. The DSG connects departments across the organization for clear and concise communication plus decision making to quickly deploy support.
The Exchange stands ready with mobile field exchanges (MFEs) to deploy at command request to serve military first responders if a hurricane makes landfall. An MFE is an Exchange on wheels, a 53-foot trailer stocked with emergency supplies, toiletries, snacks and drinks. In 2018, an MFE was sent to Tyndall Air Force Base and was the only store open within miles after Hurricane Michael devastated the installation.
“No other retailer does what the Exchange does,” Reyes said. “The Exchange stands ready to provide a ray of sunshine in the wake of a natural disaster and bring a bit of comfort and normalcy to an otherwise dire situation.”
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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 62nd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.2 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.
For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-3861 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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