By Kevin L. Robinson
DeCA public affairs specialist
Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and all other types of severe weather events are why National Preparedness Month in September emphasizes the importance of planning for unexpected emergencies – natural or man-made.
“During National Preparedness Month, we are reinforcing the importance of developing a plan for any emergency,” said Defense Commissary Agency Sales Director Tracie Russ. “As our patrons prepare their survival kits, we want to remind them they can use their commissary benefit and save money in the process.”
Through Oct. 31, DeCA’s severe weather preparedness promotions offer various items for emergency survival kits at reduced prices. This includes: beef jerky and other assorted meat snacks, soup and chili mixes, canned goods, powdered milk, cereals, batteries, airtight bags, weather-ready flashlights, tape (all-weather, heavy-duty shipping and duct), first-aid kits, lighters, matches, lanterns, candles, hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Specific promotional items may vary from store to store.
National Preparedness Month coincides with the peak activity for hurricanes in the United States. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can,” encourages people to create an emergency plan and share it with their family and friends.
Generally, emergency preparedness officials suggest having a disaster supply kit that includes the following items:
- Water – at least one gallon daily, per person (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
- Nonperishable foods – canned meats, fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, raisins, cereal, crackers, cookies, energy bars, granola, peanut butter, and foods for infants and the elderly (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
- Paper goods – writing paper, paper plates, paper towels and toilet paper
- Cooking items – pots, pans, baking sheets, cooking utensils, charcoal, a grill and a manual can opener
- First-aid kit – including bandages, medicines and prescription medications
- Cleaning materials – bleach, sanitizing spray, and hand and laundry soap
- Specialty foods – diet and low-calorie foods and drinks
- Toiletries – personal hygiene items and moisture wipes
- Pet care items – food, water, muzzle, leash, carrier, medications, medical records, and identification and immunization tags
- Lighting accessories – flashlight, batteries, candles and matches
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Duct tape, scissors
- Multipurpose tool
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Maps of the area
- Blankets or sleeping bags
Commissary patrons can go to https://commissaries.com/our-agency/disaster-preparedness to learn more about specific disaster preparedness resources for emergencies.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, to include links to more websites for emergencies, go to www.ready.gov/september and www.ready.gov/considerations/military-family-preparedness.
For more general information on emergency planning, go to the following websites:
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php and www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/prep.html
- Centers for Disease Control http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/index.asp
- Red Cross www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster
- General hurricane info from the National Weather Service www.ready.gov/hurricanes