Plan ahead, have an emergency supply kit when disaster strikes

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  • By Security and Emergency Services, DLA Installation Management Richmond

The time disaster meets you at your front door is not the time to find out you don’t have adequate supplies to make it through the disaster.  Start building your emergency disaster plan and survival supplies kit now.

“If you already have a survival plan and kit, it may be time to take another look at it to possibly add new supplies, based on the recent pandemic, or replace outdated or expired items,” said Michael Gaines, a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives operations specialist with Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond’s Security and Emergency Services.

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe, whether you’re at home, at work or in your car.

What Goes in Your Kit

While there are basic items every survival kit should have, keep individual needs in mind to add to the kit.  To get an idea of some basic survival kit items, visit’s link on building a kit.  

Maintain Your Kit

After assembling your kit, remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed.  Keep canned food in a cool, dry place, store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers and replace expired items as needed.  Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as necessary.

Kit Storage Locations

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for your home, work and cars.

Keep home kits in a designated place and ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where they are kept. Gaines urges employees to pack two days’ worth of clothing and remember the needs of your pets when packing your kit.

For work kits, he said you should have enough supplies to be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. This kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.  

Lastly, in case you are stranded in your car, Gaines recommends keeping a kit of emergency supplies to include thermal blankets and a tool to break the glass in car windows.

Remember, surviving an emergency does not start once the emergency strikes.  Surviving disaster starts with planning how to survive.  Get your survival kit ready, NOW!