Nashville, Tenn. -- The historic flooding Tennessee has endured this year serves as a stark reminder that everyone needs to stay prepared. Recognizing September as National Preparedness Month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) are urging residents to create an emergency supply kit.
"It takes time to get state and federal resources mobilized following a disaster," says Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech. "Tennesseans must be ready to care for themselves until help arrives. We're encouraging everyone to get a kit, make a plan and be informed."
Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days. Evacuation may also become necessary at a moment's notice. It's vital that everyone have emergency supplies close at hand.
"We're recommending that Tennesseans store enough food and water for at least three days," says TEMA Director James Bassham. "Since you don't know where you'll be when a disaster strikes, consider making a kit for your workplace and vehicle, as well as the home."
Set aside at least one gallon of water per person per day. To ensure your water remains useable, it's recommended that residents purchase commercially bottled water. Water containers should remain unopened until needed and remember to periodically check expiration dates.
People could lose their heating source during a disaster. Since Tennessee winters can be severe, you should include warm clothing and bedding supplies in any disaster kit. Be sure to include at least one complete change of clothing and shoes per person.
Here are some additional items to consider including:
- Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries;
- Flashlight and extra batteries;
- First aid kit and manual;
- Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper);
- Matches and waterproof container;
- Whistle for signaling;
- Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener;
- Photocopies of credit and identification cards;
- Cash, including coins;
- Personal medications, eye glasses, lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries; and
- Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
For additional planning resources, visit www.Ready.gov.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.