EMA directors stress importance of at-home emergency kits


PARSONS, Tenn. — With severe weather in the cards for the weekend, EMA directors across West Tennessee want to stress the importance of home emergency kits.

An EF1 tornado ripped though Decatur County last month, leaving many homeless and without food or water.

“A lot of people have the mindset it could never happen here,” Decatur County EMA Deputy Director Andrew Sparks said. “But when it finally does happen, it heightens the people in the area.”

He said if more people had at-home kits, the problem would have been lessened.

“There are times when in severe cases there might not be any help or anybody with relief that might get to your residence,” he said.

Sparks said every kit should have enough supplies to last three days.

“You need one gallon of water per person per day, and you need food for three days,” he said. “Canned food works really well.”

County EMA director Shannon Seaton said a flashlight and a weather radio should also be in the kit.

“We have a lot of nighttime events, so be sure to be aware before you go to bed,” he said. “Have a weather radio to wake you up.”

Seaton said when the weather is calm, most people don’t think about preparing for a disaster. But that is exactly when you need to start preparing for the worst. That way, you won’t be taken off guard when severe weather strikes.

The Decatur County EMA directors also want to remind you to have a fully charged cell phone when you know severe weather is in the forecast.

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