FORT LEE, Va. — Ten years ago on Aug. 25, Hurricane Katrina began its historic path of destruction through the Gulf Coast, making landfall near Miami. When its rampage through southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Georgia was done, Katrina would become one of the five deadliest hurricanes and the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, causing nearly 2,000 deaths, displacing a million people and wreaking $108 billion in damages.
National Preparedness Month in September is reinforcing one of the most significant lessons learned from Katrina: Make an emergency plan for any crisis — natural or manmade. Utah, too, is prone to natural disasters like flooding and earthquakes.
As bad weather tends to be the source of the most recurrent and probable emergencies, the Defense Commissary Agency is keen on informing its patrons to prepare their survival kits by taking advantage of their benefit.
“The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina underscores the importance of being prepared for any crisis, especially the sudden disruption of electric power and water or the possibility of an evacuation,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s director of sales. “An emergency can happen anytime, anywhere, and together with our industry partners, we are offering savings on many of the items our patrons need to be prepared.”
Since April 1, DeCA’s severe weather preparedness promotional package is offering various items at reduced prices until Oct. 31.
This package includes 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 promotional items may vary from store to store.
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)
• Cellphone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Maps of the area
• Blankets or sleeping bags
For more information about National Preparedness Month, go towww.ready.gov/September and www.ready.gov/considerations/military-family-preparedness.
For more information on preparing for emergencies, go to the following websites: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, the Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.