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Make Preparedness Easy with One-Minute Drills
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by Maya Chawla
August 26, 2009

It's no secret that we are all pressed for time these days, getting ready for the school year, taking last minute vacations and trying to enjoy the final weeks of summer.  In this mix, it is important to remember that it's also the middle of hurricane season.  In fact, this week marked the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.  The 1992 hurricane season was quiet, but Andrew wreaked havoc on Florida and caused billions of dollars in damage.

In an effort to help you and your family to prepare now, here are some one-minute drills that are, like the name states, short on time, but big on impact.

Drill 1 – Get a Kit

Just go here and buy the Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Kit.  Voila!  You are done with this step.  Easy, right?

Drill 2 – Discuss Kit Rules

Once you get the kit, make sure that everyone knows where it is and that that items are to be used for emergencies only.  You don't want someone taking the water packet from the kit just because they don't want to walk to the kitchen! 

Drill 3 – Personalize Your Kit

Have each family member pick their favorite canned foods and personal items and add them to the kit.

Drill 4 – Make an Evacuation Plan

This is much easier and less time consuming than it seems.  Pull out a map and highlighter and determine two or three destinations and the routes to get there.   

Drill 5 – Be Informed

It is important to know what natural disasters can affect your area and what to do in the event of one striking.  Watch the weather and stay on top of the news if a hurricane is predicted to come your way.  If local authorities are telling you to evacuate, then EVACUATE!  If you followed the drills above, then you already have an evacuation plan. 

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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