Red Cross awards preparedness bag

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Putnam County Resident Tim Watson (second, from left) receives an emergency preparedness bag from Red Cross Board members Ken Heeke, Tracy Maynard and Ginger Scott. Watson won the bag at the Putnam County Airport Appreciation day last weekend. The Red Cross had a booth at the event.

The Putnam County unit of the American Red Cross gave away an emergency preparedness bag in a drawing at the Putnam County Airport Appreciation Day last weekend.

The organization manned a booth at the event to help educate community members on how to prepare for emergencies.

An adult three-day emergency preparedness kit contains items including emergency drinking water packets, a water container, food ration packages (2,400 calories each), work gloves, N95 breathing mask, a personal first aid kit, battery operated radio, a rain poncho, light sticks, plastic sheeting and duct tape.

Scott explained the kit is designed to provide basic supplies but families should customize kits to meet their own personal needs.

The American Red Cross says that in today's climate it is more important than ever that everyone be prepared for a disaster. They recommend five actions everyone can take that can help make a difference in saving lives.

First, make a plan and talk about it with your family. Choose two places to meet in case of a disaster. Pick a spot outside your home and outside your neighborhood to meet after any type of serious event. Make sure everyone in your household know how and when to turn off utilities. Tell everyone in your household where your emergency information is and practice your plan.

Next, build a disaster kit with enough supplies for three days. Items in addition to the ones listed above are medications, clothing, personal items, money and sanitary supplies.

Maynard emphasized the importance of the third step--training in simple first aid techniques. The Red Cross offers classes for CPR, first aid, AED and Community Disaster Education.

"Call the Red Cross and ask about our classes. We have all kinds of information available," said Maynard.

Step five in being prepared is to volunteer. More than one million Americans volunteer with the Red Cross.

"They come from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages. If anyone wants to volunteer just call the Red Cross and ask what you can do," added Maynard.

The last step is to give blood. Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion.

"It doesn't take much time. During a crisis and every day, each blood donation can save as many as three lives," said Scott.

For information about classes, blood donation or disaster information check the Red Cross Web site at

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