Remote Alaska to stockpile food, just in case?
For some in the lower 48, it may seem like an extreme step. But Parnell says this is just Alaska.
In many ways, the state is no different than the rest of America. Most people buy their groceries at stores, and rely on a central grid for power and heat. But, unlike the rest of the lower 48, help isn't a few miles away. When a fall storm cut off Nome from its final fuel supply last winter, a Russian tanker spent weeks breaking through thick ice to reach the remote town.
"We have a different motivation to do this, because help is a long ways away," said John Madden, Alaska's emergency management director.
The state plans two food stockpiles in or near Fairbanks and Anchorage, two cities that also have military bases. Construction on the two storage facilities will begin this fall, and the first food deliveries are targeted for December. The goal is to have enough food to feed 40,000 people for up to a week, including three days of ready-to-eat meals and four days of bulk food that can be prepared and cooked for large groups. To put that number into perspective, Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, has about 295,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and Juneau, its third largest, about 31,000.
It's not unusual for states that routinely experience hurricanes or other large-scale disasters to have supplies like water, ready-to-eat meals, cots and blankets.
State officials have been working to encourage individual responsibility, with talks at schools and public gatherings.
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