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FORT LEE, Va., May 17, 2013 – It's disaster preparedness time, and shopping at the commissary is a great way for customers to get ready for what may come during the time of year severe weather is likely to strike. To help customers prepare for severe storms, tornados, hurricanes, flooding and the damage they and other natural disasters may cause, the Defense Commissary Agency and its industry partners are offering items needed for survival kits at lower prices, said Joyce Chandler, DeCA's acting director of sales.

"We want to make sure our customers have what they need to be prepared," Chandler said. "By shopping at the commissary our customers can get what they need and save money in the process."

Every year from April 1 through Oct. 31, items such as flashlights, an assortment of batteries, canned tuna, shelf-stable milk, first-aid kits, bottled water, charcoal, canned soup and more are sold at reduced prices as part of DeCA's severe weather promotional package.

The promotion coincides with the U.S. hurricane and tornado seasons. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, and forecasters are predicting another busy season. They are expecting 18 tropical storms, nine of which will become named hurricanes. So far, the 2013 tornado season has been quiet, much quieter than last year.

In 2012, Super Storm Sandy, the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history, crashed into the Northeast causing damage upwards of $75 billion across multiple states. Millions of people across New York, New Jersey and New England were without power, running water and heat for weeks. "Every family should have a disaster kit," Chandler said. "No matter what the forecasters are calling for it's important to be prepared for any emergency."

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 sheet, cooking utensils, charcoal, a grill and a manual can opener
  • First-aid kit – including bandages, medicines and prescription drugs
  • 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