Every year, Alaskans face potential disasters from floods, wildfires, earthquakes and avalanches.

The Mat-Su Emergency Preparedness Expo has the resources to make sure people are prepared.

Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle said many people may think they can be self-sufficient in an emergency but don’t always have the supplies they need.

“It’s going to take government agencies time to set up and help you so what are you going to do in the interim?” he asked. “As Alaskans, we should be self-sufficient for 72 hours to seven days. You should be ready.”

He showed what goes into an emergency kit: Three days of food, water and supplies. That includes a gallon of water per person or pet per day as well as food you actually want to eat.

“Food that’s easy to prepare, easy to grab and has a shelf life,” he pointed to cans of soup and single-serve packets of tuna fish.

Cottle advises people to write down everything they normally eat in a three day period, then pack accordingly.

“And understand the power might be out and maybe the heat is going to be off. What are you going to do and have a backup plan,” Cottle said.

Other emergency supplies include medication—for your family and pets—a tarp that can be used as a shelter, first aid kit and duct tape. All of that can be stored in a plastic tote that's easy to grab in a hurry.

The Mat-Su Emergency Preparedness Expo will have demonstrations from the earthquake simulator and vehicle rollover simulator. The Red Cross and Salvation Army will have an emergency shelter set up to serve food and staff can show people who to properly put together a kit.

“Even for us, who were born and raised here, I think you learn something new every year. Whether it’s heating packets I’ve never seen before. Or a different way to store your supplies. So you can always learn something,” Cottle said.

The 10th annual expo is Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Menard Sports Center in Wasilla from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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