It's Preparedness Month. Here's how to get ready for natural disasters

It's Preparedness Month. Here's how to get ready for natural disasters

Duke Energy employees made storm kits to help people prepare for natural disasters; you can make a kit, too

If there’s a big storm or other emergency, you won’t have time to pack the things you need. But if you have a storm kit prepared, you’ll be ready.

That’s why Duke Energy provided storm kits to nonprofits in its service area.

How to make your own storm kit

Create an emergency supply kit to save time later. Include everything you would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines, water, non-perishable food and supplies that might be hard to find after a storm. Your kit should include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, soap and face coverings.

“As storm threats continue to grow, we want to ensure our most vulnerable communities have access to these storm kits to help them prepare and stay safe,” said Kevin McLaughlin, the company’s vice president of government affairs and community relations in North Carolina.

The country is focused on safety in September for Preparedness Month 2020. Duke Energy, for the first time, distributed the kits in its six-state service area. The 7,000 kits were assembled by about 40 employees and their families for the company’s Illuminating Kindness volunteer campaign.

Each kit includes first aid supplies, flashlight, warming blanket, whistle, dry storage bag and bilingual storm safety information. The dry bag has room for personal items, such as prescription drugs and documents. The kits were delivered to groups such as Carteret County Emergency Services in North Carolina, Ohio Council on Aging, and Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater, Fla.

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Leticia Escamilla, youth specialist at the Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater, Fla., distributed storm kits to clients.

“We want to make sure that this is one less thing that the families that we serve and the families in the community have to worry about,” said Jaclyn Boland, CEO of the InterCultural Advocacy Institute of the Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater. “A lot of them are so worried about just making ends meet and being able to go to work and make money to pay the rent, bills and all of that. In case of a storm they can just take it and go.”

The center distributed about 500 kits to clients. Duke Energy Florida President Catherine Stempien said the interest was higher than expected. 

“Vulnerable populations really felt comforted being more prepared and appreciated the information we provided,” Stempien said. “We were so pleased to go bigger this year and expand across the enterprise.”

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Contents of a Duke Energy storm kit. You can make your own with instructions from ready.gov. Duke Energy employees assembled storm kits that were distributed to Florida, 2,050; North Carolina, 1,250; South Carolina: 1,250; Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, 2,300; other (including Washington, D.C.), 150. 

 

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