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Kanawha County Emergency Management walks through preparedness kit building

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 3:55 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The effects of extreme heat to powerful storms can change the way a home runs in an instant.

Kanawha County Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman believes now makes the best time to build an emergency preparedness kit in case there is a power outage.

Sigman said kits are essential all throughout the year.

“You kind of forget about needing it in the summertime, but with all these power outages due to the heavy storms the other night, it’s even more important,” he said.

He said keeping a kit handy makes a difference when hardship strikes.

According to Sigman, the kit should be kept in a cool, dry place like a pantry.

He said basic essentials go a long way.

“Think about your whole neighborhood going out of power and you can’t see a thing. Having a flashlight takes that fear out a little bit. You can see what you need to do; it takes that fear factor out,” he explained.

“Have some wipes to clean up, if you’re out of power for a long time you might lose what’s in your refrigerator so non-perishable food items are very important.”

He advised having at least three days worth of supplies in the kit.

“I advise you to make sure you’re stocked up with non-perishable foods you already eat, like condensed milk and peaches,” he said. “Buy stuff you’ll eat anyway so you’re not panicking about what you will eat.”

Other options include military-style meals like contained vegetable lasagna.

Sigman said it is best to build a kit as soon as possible, and given recent extreme heat, he expects storms will not be far behind.

“Think if you’re without power what are you going to need? A full tank of gas to get somewhere? Water, alternate sources of power?” he asked. “No one knows more of what you need than you do.”

He said similar kits can be made for the car, just be sure the car is frequently kept in the shade and food is rotated regularly to avoid expiration.

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