Are you ready for a disaster? You can be – March is Red Cross month! The American Red Cross is one of the most widely recognized aid and preparedness organizations in the world. Founded in 1881 by leader Clara Barton, the Red Cross is a leader in emergency response all over the globe. Because the organization is non-profit, March is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for this prolific disaster-relief institution.
Clara Barton brought the idea of the Red Cross to Washington D.C. after a trip to Europe following the Civil War. She was inspired by the Swiss-inspired international Red Cross network there and felt that it was imperative that the work continue in the U.S.
According to the American Red Cross website, “the American Red Cross responds immediately to more than 70,000 disasters, including house or apartment fires (the majority of disaster responses), hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents, explosions, and other natural and man-made disasters. The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to disaster victims, and helps those affected by disaster to access other available resources.”
Do YOU know how to survive and lend a hand in a disaster? Preparation is one of the important educational promotions of the Red Cross, and the group recommends being prepared with an Emergency Preparedness Kit. Here are some things you can stock up on to help you aid yourself and others in the event of a disaster.
Keep a 3-day food and water supply in an easy-to-carry kit, and have a 2-week supply stocked in your home for if you’re stuck in your house during a calamity. Check and update your items every 6 months to ensure freshness.
Along with your food and water, some other good things to keep in a kit include:
- First Aid kit
- Multi-purpose tool
- Emergency contact info and copies of personal documents
- Cell phone
- Sanitary supplies
- If you have animals, pet food, water and meds
- Pre-arranged evacuation plan from your home, including meeting places, and duties for what to do before leaving the home for each family member.
When creating your kit and your plan for getting out of your home, take into account how many people and pets will use the kit for any amount of time, and add items accordingly for each.
Be proactive, be prepared! For more preparedness tips and info on how you can support your local American Red Cross chapter, visit http://www.redcross.org.