Red Cross Offers Online Emergency-preparedness Advice

SPRINGFIELD — Throughout the year, the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter is encouraging individuals and families to ‘Be Red Cross Ready.’

That’s the name of an initiative to encourage disaster preparedness, outlining three simple steps to get ready: get a kit, make a plan, and be informed. These actions offer a basic preparedness strategy everyone can follow to respond to a variety of disasters and emergencies.

The American Red Cross recommends that families assemble or buy a disaster-supplies kit containing at least three days of provisions in an easy-to-carry container, like a backpack. It’s also important to check that stock every six months and replace expired items.

As part of your family communications plan, each person should know how to reach family members, including an out-of-area contact, and where to meet if they can’t go home.

Families should learn about what resources are available to them and what types of disasters are most likely to occur where they live, work and play, and take first aid and CPR courses — a vital component of disaster preparedness.

The American Red Cross recently launched an updated online tool that provides step-by-step instructions on how to Be Red Cross Ready. The site is interactive and can make getting prepared easy and fun. To access it, visit www.redcrosspioneervalley.org and click on the ‘Be Red Cross Ready’ banner.