Commissary patrons can save on groceries, other supplies for their emergency kits
FORT LEE, Va. – During September, National Preparedness Month highlights the significance of being ready for emergencies. This is a message the Defense Commissary Agency takes to heart as it helps its customers save on many of the items they should include in their survival kits.
“When an emergency occurs – bad weather, manmade event or pandemic – you’re either prepared or you’re not,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s director of sales. “We want our customers to know their commissary benefit is here for them so they can be prepared now.”
The theme for this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” The month is separated into four activities: Sept. 1-5 – make a plan; Sept. 6-12 – build a kit; Sept. 13-19 – prepare for disasters; and Sept. 20-26 – teach youth about preparedness.
From April through Oct. 31, DeCA’s severe weather promotional package helps customers prepare their survival kits with 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.
Whether it’s Mother Nature or a manmade crisis, emergency preparedness officials encourage prior planning with a disaster supply kit that includes the following items:
- COVID-19 protection – reusable or disposable face coverings, disposable gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, hand soap
- 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
- Writing utensils – pens, pencils (manual pencil sharpeners), markers
- 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
- Toiletries – personal hygiene items and moist 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
“Even with COVID-19, we still want our customers to be prepared,” Russ said. “However, we recommend they buy what they need and avoid unnecessary hoarding to ensure products are available for others.”
For more information about disaster preparedness, go to the DeCA website for lists of resources.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, go to Ready.gov where there are also links to more resources such as the Hurricane Seasonal Preparedness Digital Toolkit. Military families can also find information on emergency procedures specific to their service.
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, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. 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.