What's in your disaster kit?
Commissaries offer savings on emergency supplies
FORT LEE, Va. (May 18, 2017) – These days, Mother Nature can quickly flip the switch from a calm, sunny day to 150 mph spiraling winds, torrential rain and raging flood waters. To prepare for nature's unexpected fury, the Defense Commissary Agency encourages its patrons to use their benefit for emergency supplies.
"Last year we saw firsthand how a major storm can destabilize communities when Hurricane Matthew flooded roads, cut power and shut down stores," said Tracie Russ, DeCA director of sales. "Each year, our industry partners help us offer tremendous savings on many of the items our patrons need to be ready for an emergency – natural or manmade."
DeCA's severe weather promotional package includes discounts on the following items: 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 items may vary from store to store.
The North Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 to Nov. 30 and covers the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Tornado season is April to July. The latest forecasts for the 2017 hurricane season call for fewer storms than last year.
The Weather Channel reported the Colorado State University forecast of 11 named storms, four of which will be hurricanes with two of the hurricanes potentially being category 3 or higher. Accuweather's forecast is similar, predicting 10 named storms, five of which will be hurricanes with three being major hurricanes.
The numbers may differ, but all meteorologists agree it only takes one storm to cause a disaster.
Last year, that disaster was Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 3-19, which spurred destructive winds and freshwater flooding from northeast Florida to coastal Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. Of the 48 deaths attributed to this storm, 26 were in North Carolina. Many people were stranded in place as several major highways were closed due to flooding.
Be it hurricane, tornado or a manmade event, 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
For more information about disaster preparedness, go to our Disaster Preparedness page for lists of resources.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons save thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to commercial prices when shopping regularly at a commissary. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773