Red Cross: Be prepared for disasters

Posted 11/7/19

The American Red Cross asks everyone to add, “Getting prepared for emergencies,” to their list of resolutions for 2017. “Households need to plan what they would do if an emergency situation …

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Red Cross: Be prepared for disasters


The American Red Cross asks everyone to add, “Getting prepared for emergencies,” to their list of resolutions for 2017.“Households need to plan what they would do if an emergency situation occurred,” said Cindy Erickson, Regional CEO.“All it takes is three easy steps: No. 1, get a disaster kit ready; No. 2, develop an emergency plan; and No. 3, be informed about what possible risks you may face where you live.”Families need to plan as to what they should do if a disaster occurs. People can make a difference in your community by knowing what to do when disaster strikes.It’s just a few short steps away:• Get a kit — Anyone who has fumbled to find a flashlight during a blackout knows what it feels like to be unprepared. Use a downloadable checklist available on to make it easy to get an emergency preparedness kit ready.The kit should include: Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water — one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene purposes; battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible); flashlight and extra batteries; a first aid kit with medications and medical items; copies of all important documents (proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies); and extra cash.• Make a plan — Talk with household members about what to do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case members are separated, and choose two places to meet, one right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside the neighborhood in case household members cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.Choose a contact person from out of the area and make sure all household members have this person’s phone number and email address. It may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept. Practice evacuating a home twice a year. Drive the planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable.Don’t forget pets. Anyone who must evacuate should make arrangements for animals. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along the evacuation routes.• Be informed — people should know the risks where they live, work, learn and play. Anyone who lives, or travel often to, areas near a fault line, should learn how to prepare and what to do during an earthquake. If summer brings to mind not just beaches and picnics but also tropical storms and hurricanes, people should arm themselves with information about what to do in case one occurs. Remember that emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them.Find out how to receive information from local officials in the event of an emergency.Learn First Aid and CPR/AED to have the skills to respond in an emergency before help arrives, especially during a disaster when emergency responders may be delayed. Visit for online and in-class offerings and to register.People may also download the Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of emergencies, as well as locations of open Red Cross shelters. It is a single “go-to” source for 14 different types of emergencies and disasters and allows users to notify loved ones who are in an affected area. Download the Monster Guard App so 7- to 11-year-olds will have a free, fun, gaming environment to learn how to prevent emergencies, like home fires, and how to stay safe if severe weather or natural disasters occur.People can download the apps for free in their app stores or at Cross