Even though the American Red Cross Putnam County Unit responds to an annual average of 25 emergencies, new Community Development Director Christine Klinger said it always helps to be completely prepared.
The American Red Cross is putting an emphasis on being prepared in September by celebrating National Preparedness Month.
Klinger said the local unit participated in 21 emergencies last year, but that number is significantly down this year.
"Obviously, that's a good thing," Klinger said.
She added the local unit typically deals in fire, flood and tornado emergencies.
Klinger said being prepared for any kind of disaster is imperative. She added residents should take steps to make themselves more prepared for emergencies, including:
-- Getting a Kit of emergency supplies that would allow survival for at least three days in the event an emergency happens. The kit should include basic items such as water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight and a first aid kit.
-- Make a plan in advance of what will take place in the event of an emergency. The plan should include a communications plan and address shelter and evacuation.
-- Be informed. Learn more about different threats that could affect the community and appropriate responses to them.
-- Get involved. After preparing for possible emergencies, take the next step. Get training in first aid and emergency response and get involved in preparing the community.
Klinger said recommended items that should be included in a basic emergency kit include water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight and batteries, a first aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, a dust mask, moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties for personal sanitation, tools, a can opener for food, and local maps.
For more information on emergency preparedness and CPR/First Aid classes, call the American Red Cross of Wabash Valley Putnam County Unit at 653-4614.