National Preparedness Month: How to prepare for disasters

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FILE – This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence, upper left, in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. At center is Tropical Storm Isaac and at right is Hurricane Helene. (NOAA via AP)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — The American Red Cross is urging families to make readiness a priority this September during National Preparedness Month.

According to the Red Cross the country has experienced more intense storms, heavier rain, higher temperatures, severe droughts and record-setting hurricanes and wildfires in the past several years than in years prior.

Vice president, Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross Jennifer Pipa said it’s important to always be prepared for disasters.

“Helping people affected by disasters has been at the heart of the Red Cross mission since our founding. In light of what we are seeing now, it is clear that climate change is a serious and devastating threat for the 21st century.” Pipa said. “Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime. It’s urgent that everyone take steps to get prepared now.”

The Red Cross suggests families stay safe by getting an emergency kit, creating a plan on what to do if they are affected by a disaster, and staying informed on how they will receive important information during a disaster.

The organization said emergency kits should have a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants or pets, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. 

The Red Cross also suggested the public take time during the month to help the community get prepared for emergencies of all sizes by volunteering, donating blood or learning lifesaving skills.

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