BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia is no stranger to severe weather, so with September being National Preparedness Month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local first responder agencies are reminding families and communities to plan for disasters now and throughout the year.

WFXR News’ Hazelmarie Anderson stopped by the Botetourt County Department of Fire and EMS‘ new command trailer to speak with the department’s emergency manager, Daniel Murray, about the supplies you need in case a disaster strikes.

According to FEMA, a basic disaster kit needs to include the following:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days) for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Pet food and extra water (if applicable)

For additional recommendations for an emergency supply kit, click here.

After you make your kit, you will need to maintain it, so keep it in a cool dry place, keep food in a tightly closed plastic or metal containers, and replace any items if they expire.

Since emergencies can occur at any time, officials recommend keeping emergency kits in your home, workplace, and vehicle with the necessary supplies.

For example, a car kit should have jumper cables, a blanket, flares, a map, etc. In addition, FEMA recommends having a mechanic check over your car before emergencies.

For more vehicle safety tips from FEMA, check out this link.