How to be ready for an emergency

3:43 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Emergencies can strike at anytime and anywhere. With that in mind, the Red Cross has three main points for being prepared in an emergency situation.

1. Be informed (pay attention to warnings - know how your community sends alerts)
2. Make a plan
3. Have a kit

Jason Viana, a Preparedness Manager with the Red Cross, joined KARE 11 News @ 4 to further explain these three tips.

Be informed-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.

Make a plan-You may not always be together when these events take place and should have plans for making sure you are able to contact and find one another.

The American Red Cross suggests some basic steps to make sure you remain safe:

- 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. 
Have a kit- Being prepared means that you'll need to stockpile some supplies. Here are some items the Red Cross recommends that have on hand:

- Water-one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food-non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Flashlight
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit - SEE BELOW 
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose 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 

Also, first aid kits come in many shapes and sizes. You can purchase one from the Red Cross Store or your local drug store may sell them. You can also make your own. Whatever you do, make sure it has all the items you may need:

The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- Scissors
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)

- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- Tweezers
- First aid instruction booklet

To be prepared for emergencies: 

- Keep a first aid kit in your home and in your car.
- Carry a first aid kit with you or know where you can find one.
- Find out the location of first aid kits where you work.

Include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers or other items your health-care provider may suggest.

Also, check the kit regularly. Make sure the flashlight batteries work. Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents.

For more information, head to the Red Cross.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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