May 31, 2011 10:00 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Be Red Cross ready

The American Red Cross recommends every family to be "Red Cross Ready" in emergency situations.  That means get a kit, make a plan, and be informed.

The following information is from the American Red Cross website:


At a minimum, have the basic supplies listed below. Keep supplies in an easy­-to­-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

Water: one gallon per person, per day (3­-day supply for evacuation, 2­-week supply for home)
Food: non­perishable, easy­-to­-prepare items (3­-day supply for evacuation, 2­-week supply for home)
Battery­-powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
Extra batteries
First aid kit
Medications (7­-day supply) and medical items
Multi­purpose tool
Sanitation and personal hygiene items
Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
Cell phone with chargers
Family and emergency contact information
Extra cash
Emergency blanket
Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
Games and activities for children
Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
Two­-way radios
Extra set of car keys and house keys
Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

N95 or surgical masks
Rain gear
Work gloves
Tools/supplies for securing your home
Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
Plastic sheeting
Duct tape
Household liquid bleach
Entertainment items
Blankets or sleeping bags


-Meet with your family or household members.
-Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
-Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
-If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.

Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency

Choose two places to meet:
-Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
-Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
-Choose an out­-of­-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or programmed into their cell phones.

Plan what to do if you have to evacuate

-Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter if necessary.
-Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
-Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet­friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.


Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur in your area. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood.

-Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get information, whether through local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels.
-Know the difference between different weather alerts such as watches and warnings and what actions to take in each.
-Know what actions to take to protect yourself during disasters that may occur in areas where you travel or have moved recently. For example, if you travel to a place where earthquakes are common and you are not familiar with them, make sure you know what to do to protect yourself should one occur.
-When a major disaster occurs, your community can change in an instant. Loved ones may be hurt and emergency response is likely to be delayed. Make sure that at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR and knows how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). This training is useful in many emergency situations.
-Share what you have learned with your family, household and neighbors and encourage them to be informed.


Sign up for Pueblo County Emergency Telephone Notification System (reverse 911)

Sign up for El Paso/Teller County Emergency Telephone Notification System

If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know about your welfare.





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