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Special CNI, CNRSE Team Aids NAS Key West Sailors
Navy NewsStand ^ | Nov 4, 2005 | James E. Brooks

Posted on 11/04/2005 4:20:10 PM PST by SandRat

KEY WEST, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West Sailors returned home Oct. 30, after evacuating ahead of Hurricane Wilma, to flood-damaged homes but also to helping hands of a special hurricane recovery team from Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNI) and Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE).

The CNI/CNRSE team gathered at Key West’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) youth center and set up a Task Force Navy Family Community Support Center (CSC) for Navy families and a command center to coordinate with parent commands. Partnered with NAS Key West offices, insurance companies, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other state and local support organizations, the CNI/CNRSE team created a “one-stop shopping” center. When doors opened at 8 a.m., dozens of families were waiting with lots of questions and many needs.

Dean Reynolds, CNRSE housing program manager, guided NAS Key West housing officers with plans to temporarily house more than 225 families and 200 single Sailors whose military quarters were made uninhabitable by Hurricane Wilma’s storm surge.

“People ask me if damage was worse here or in Gulfport,” said Reynolds. “When a Sailor loses his personal belongings, the damage is done.”

Other CNI/CNRSE team members provided expertise and resources for initial recovery efforts in Key West. Navy legal services, the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC), the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) and a host of other experts deployed from Washington, D.C., and Jacksonville, Fla., were on hand when families returned.

“There are a lot of Navy families looking for a little financial assistance to get them over the initial shock until insurance claims are processed,” said Jim Reed, an NMCRS coordinator from Jacksonville. “We provided $500 loans to Navy families and $250 to single Sailors - interest free, automatically, on the spot.”

According to Reed, more than $24,000 in loans were issued on the first day. Key West’s Navy Exchange (NEX) provided check-cashing services for families.

Legal services were another area of concern for Key West Navy families, and Navy Legal Services Office (NLSO) Jacksonville was on hand to read and explain insurance policies, provide guidance, and assist in filling out government claim forms. Some Sailors lacked renter’s insurance and thought they lost all their belongings when bachelor’s quarters were flooded. The information provided from NLSO offered immediate hope.

“Many Sailors I talked to today didn’t know they could file a government claim for lost personal belongings,” said Lt. Harold Jones, NLSO Jacksonville. “Sailors have to file with their own insurance company first, before they can file an insurance claim with the government.”

Storm surge waters destroyed more than 80 percent of all autos, trucks and motorized transportation in Key West. Many Navy families lost at least one car.

“I’ve been asked a lot of questions about lost automobiles,” said Jones. “Everyone is supposed to have auto insurance, but you may be able to claim your deductible if your auto was destroyed on government property.”

Supporting the CNI/CNRSE team was a mobile command post of satellite communications to pass information up the chain of command.

“CNI/CNRSE and the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) want information and data on what’s happening here and what Navy families need,” said Hector Sepulveda, FFSC office director, Mayport, Fla. “We bring a lot of great tools to help Navy families now, but we can get better tomorrow and in the future if we know what the needs are. We are improving our ability to help families every day.”

The CNI/CNRSE team’s CSC provided assistance to more than 317 families and single Sailors on the first day. The team is scheduled to remain at the CSC until Sailors do not need the services anymore.

For Navy Family members who need hurricane related assistance, contact the Navy Personnel Command’s Emergency Coordination Center at (877) 414-5358, or visit the Task Force Navy Family Web site on

The Task Force Navy Family Ombudsmen and Outside Resource Center is available for general assistance and referrals to all Navy family members affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma by calling 1-866-345-8179.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: aids; cni; cnrse; hurricane; katrina; key; nas; rita; sailors; special; team; west; wilma
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1 posted on 11/04/2005 4:20:11 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

Navy helping Families and returned sailors.

If link doesn't work for photos try this

2 posted on 11/04/2005 4:21:15 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat


3 posted on 11/05/2005 3:10:55 AM PST by E.G.C.
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