How you can be “Red Cross Ready” for National Preparedness Month in Birmingham

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Carrie Bush, the Preparedness and Partnership Program Manager for the American Red Cross, with one of their Starter Emergency Preparedness Kits. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

In honor of National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross is encouraging Alabamians to make sure their households are ready in case of an emergency. We interviewed Carrie Bush, the Preparedness and Partnership Program Manager for the American Red Cross, to learn what it means to be “Red Cross Ready.”

Building an Emergency Preparedness Kit

When—not if—disaster strikes, it’s important to have all the supplies you need to keep you and your family safe until help arrives.

At minimum, your Emergency Preparedness Kit should include:

  • 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 
  • Extra batteries 
  • First aid kit
  • 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
  • Blankets
  • Map(s) of the area
American Red Cross
Have you built out an Emergency Preparedness Kit? Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” Emergency Preparedness Kit. While putting together your Emergency Preparedness Kit, consider the needs of your family members:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

For more information on how to build your personalized Emergency Preparedness Kit, click here to visit the American Red Cross’ website. In fact, the American Red Cross sells an Emergency Preparedness Started Kit, which you can purchase on their website.

Have you taken steps to make sure you’re ready for a disaster? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

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Nathan Watson
Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.
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