Hurricane Awareness: Disaster supply kit

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 22, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Anyone who has been through a hurricane knows it’s too late to worry about what materials they need once the storm hits.

Even waiting until there is a storm in the general area is not a good idea.

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As part of Hurricane Awareness Week, the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency is making efforts to better prepare people for severe weather.

One place to start is obtaining and maintaining a disaster supply kit.

“Just keep it in a closet or somewhere it will be readily accessible,” said Dallas County EMA director Brett Howard. “I would also make a list of what needs to be in there and keep the list in the supply kit. You’ll need to go through it regularly to make sure it does stay stocked. You might run out of toiletries and take something out of the kit just because it’s there, then forget to go to the grocery store and replace it.”

First and foremost, there should be a supply of water – at least one gallon daily per person. The first casualties of severe storms are electricity and running water.

There should also be non-perishable food items, clothing, a first aid kit, flashlight and radio among other things.

The supplies should last for an absolute minimum of three days, and it is recommended that there be enough for up to a week.

If there are pets, it would be wise to have things like proper ID, medications and carrying cases in the kit.

There’s another thing homes should have in the kit – cash.

“People may not be able to acquire funds because banks and ATMs may be closed,” Howard said.