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Every Business Needs An Emergency Supply Kit

Release date: 
September 12, 2006
Release Number: 
1603-550

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Jennifer Kang was lucky, and she knows it.  Her Algiers company, Majestic Cleaners, did not sustain major damage from Hurricane Katrina.  But she has taken steps to protect her data and examine her insurance policy to be better prepared for future storms.

Business owners everywhere are urged to assemble an emergency supply kit.  Emergency preparedness officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration have produced a list of items for small and large companies to consider as they plan a survival kit for disaster.

Emergency Supplies Checklist

  • A battery-powered commercial radio plus a radio that can receive weather alerts from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are recommended. The NOAA weather radio can alert you to weather emergencies and potentially life-saving emergency information. The commercial radio is a good source for news and information from local authorities.
  • Keep copies of important records such as site maps, building plans, insurance policies, employee contact and identification information, bank account records, supplier and shipping contact lists, computer backups, emergency or law enforcement contact information and other priority documents in a waterproof, fireproof portable container. Store a second set of records at an off-site location.
  • Talk to employees and co-workers about what emergency supplies the company can feasibly provide, if any, and which supplies individuals should keep on hand.  Here is a basic list:
    • Water: one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation
    • Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
    • Flashlight and extra batteries and some basic tools
    • First aid kit and three-day supply of prescription medications
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air
    • Moist towelettes for sanitation
    • Can opener
    • Sturdy shoes, extra clothes and blankets
    • Cash

Kang says communicating with family and business contacts in the aftermath of Katrina was difficult.  She offered a useful tip for people who have a cell phone.  "If your calls won't go through, you can still text message," said Kang.

A wide range of useful information is free online at www.ready.gov and www.sba.gov.

FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program.  FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:39