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D.C. Homeland Security Details Emergency Kit Must-Haves

If a hurricane comes to the District amid the coronavirus pandemic, federal and local disaster relief officials encourage residents to be ready to do the necessary things to stay alive until the storm passes and assistance becomes available.

“Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep COVID-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets,” said Carlos J. Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

D.C.’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Administration’s website has guidelines for residents to follow if a hurricane hits the city.

A hurricane kit should consist of one gallon of water per person in a household for consumption and sanitation, a three-day supply of nonperishable food, batteries, a flashlight, whistle, dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape. The kit needs to have moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties as well as a fire extinguisher and an extra cellphone charger.

A first aid kit should be available in case of medical emergencies for injuries and prescription medication and eyewear if needed. Items related to daily life such as insurance policies, copies of driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, birth certificates and bank account information should also be available. These materials should be stored safely, the website said.

Cash or change should be on hand because of the strong possibility that automatic teller machines may not be functional due to the inclement weather. Copies of local maps and emergency contact numbers should be available, also. If a vehicle can be utilized, jumper cables are useful as well as a rain poncho and umbrella, road flares and a full tank of gas.

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