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    Commissaries Urge Customers to Prep for Natural Disasters

    FORT LEE, Va. -- What's in your closet? That's the question the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) here is asking, as it launches an awareness campaign encouraging military families to keep nonperishable foods, water, and other necessities on hand in case of emergencies.

    FORT LEE, Va. -- What's in your closet? That's the question the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) here is asking, as it launches an awareness campaign encouraging military families to keep nonperishable foods, water, and other necessities on hand in case of emergencies.

    DeCA is teaming up with the Armed Forces Emergency Services Branch of the American Red Cross for the "What's in Your Closet" campaign to raise awareness of disaster preparedness throughout the military community. The campaign kicks off in June with posters and handouts in stores, and reminder buttons on employees.

    "The storm season starts June 1, and it's a fact that commissaries and military families have been affected by hurricanes and typhoons at home and abroad," said Patrick Nixon, c.e.o. and acting director of the Defense Commissary Agency, in a statement. "We want to raise awareness of the need to keep emergency supplies on hand -- and that shoppers can realize savings of 30 percent or more by using their commissary benefit to supply their emergency closet."

    The DeCA campaign doesn't stop with hurricane preparedness, however. "Disasters can take on many forms," noted Joseph Moffat, executive director, Armed Forces Emergency Services. "From blackouts to blizzards, to tornadoes and earthquakes, everyone should be prepared with enough emergency supplies to last seven days."

    Red Cross representatives will have the opportunity to set up displays or tables in commissaries to provide information and answer questions about disaster preparedness. The type of information and events offered will vary according to location, and in some cases customers will also have the opportunity to sign up for volunteer services and classes, such as first aid or disaster preparedness.

    Other government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are working closely with local communities and relief organizations to remind residents to make emergency preparations.

    More information on disaster preparedness is available at: http://www.fema.gov; http://www.dhs.gov; http://www.redcross.org.

    The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees, and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of 30 percent or more on their purchases compared to commercial prices.

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