News | Sept. 11, 2020

Be prepared, build an emergency kit

By Security and Emergency Services, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond

September is National Preparedness Month. Are you prepared for an emergency?

When an emergency strikes, first responders and government officials are in a search, rescue, and damage assessment mode. Government officials and first responder organizations that offer life sustaining supplies may be days away.

“That is why having an emergency kit readily available is an important priority,” said Russell Pitts, an antiterrorism officer with DLA Installation Management Richmond.

Mike Kneip, a lead program analyst for DLA Aviation’s Command Support Directorate, knows a thing or two about making emergency kits.

He started making emergency kits when he lived in Southern California where they would have little to no warning when an earthquake might strike. Kneip said he kept the practice going when he moved to Virginia.

“Hurricane Irene and major power outages in Aug. 2011 reinforced the need for an emergency kit,” Kneip said.

Most items that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends can already be found in your home. FEMA recommends having a three-day supply of food, water, medicine, and other consumables. To obtain a printable check list, follow this link:

Pitts said having critical items in a central location is important during a crisis. “Something as simple as a backpack or plastic tub clearly labeled with the contents could save valuable time in an emergency,” he said.

“Build your kit slowly and purposefully,” Kneip recommends. “Buy a few things each time you go grocery shopping. Keep pets in mind if you have any, and stock up on any medications you are able to.”

He suggests involving your family in building your kit to help them understand why it’s important to have one.

If you have any question on emergency preparations, please contact Pitts, at