Are you ready for the next crisis? Commissaries offer savings on emergency supplies
Service members and their families in Puerto Rico don’t need a primer on using their commissary benefit to purchase emergency supplies. After being hit by two hurricanes, Irma and Maria, in the space of two weeks last September, they can write the book on disaster preparation.
“From Sept. 1-5 , it was a frenzy with many of our customers trying to purchase items for [hurricane] preparation,” said Bill Roger, store director of the Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, Commissary, recalling how his store aisles exploded with long lines of patrons stocking up on water, canned goods, batteries and other key emergency items.
In the aftermath of 2017’s historic hurricane season, the Defense Commissary Agency reminds its patrons to their commissary to load up on the supplies they need to be ready for the next crisis, said Tracie Russ, agency sales director.
“Last year, major hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Maria caused widespread damage by flooding roads, cutting power and shutting down stores,” Russ said. “As bad and unpredictable as disasters are, it’s good to know our industry partners have always helped us offer tremendous savings on many of the items our patrons need to be prepared for any emergency.”
From April through Oct. 31, 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 Colorado State University forecast for 2018 predicts there will be 14 named storms, seven of which will be hurricanes with three of the hurricanes potentially being category 3 or higher. Accuweather’s forecast is similar, predicting 12 to 15 tropical storms, six to eight hurricanes with three to five being major hurricanes.
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 – flashlights, 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 the Disaster Preparedness page for lists of resources.
For photos related to this release, see our Flickr page.