Happy (and Safe) Holidays, Everyone!

Can you believe that its already December 21?

The time has flown by for many considering the number of people out on the roads and in the stores. The Holidays can be an especially stressful time, as shoppers attempt to find the perfect gifts and families plan their large gatherings. This Holiday, take some time to avoid a potentially enormously stressful situation by remembering to keep your family Red Cross Ready in case of a sudden emergency or disaster, such as an earthquake.

Keeping your family prepared for a disaster doesn’t have to be stressful. The Holidays, believe it or not, is a perfect time to get prepared. As you get ready for the Holidays, use the following opportunities to take simple actions that will help you become Red Cross Ready for disasters and other emergencies:

Get a kit:

  • When the spirit of giving moves you to purchase canned goods for a local food bank, add a few non-perishable food items and a manual can opener to store in your disaster supplies kit.
  • While you’re making your list and checking it twice, take a minute to think about the items you would want to take with you if you had to leave your home in a hurry. Add these items to the disaster supplies checklist to personalize your kit.
  • When wrapping presents, take some time to pack your disaster supplies in a waterproof, sealable container and store it in a place where you can find it easily.

Make a plan:

  • Many of us are so busy throughout the year that we don’t get to see our friends and loved ones as much as we would like. While your family is gathered for the holidays, make sure you have everyone’s updated contact information. Ensure that everyone in your household knows the emergency contact numbers.
  • While decorating your home for the holidays, identify two exits from each room as part of your evacuation plan. While you string your lights, pick one meeting spot outside your home and then choose one outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home.

Be informed

  • If the weather outside is frightful, you need to know how to keep your family safe. Find out what types of disasters are likely to occur in your area and how local officials would communicate with you in case of a disaster like a winter storm.
  • You know what radio station plays the best holiday carols, but do you know where you would get information about road closures or evacuation routes? Identify radio, TV, and internet resources that can provide this information.

Stocking stuffers
If you run out of gift ideas for your loved ones, follow these tips for sharing the gift of preparedness:

  • Want to give a gift that could save a life? Gift certificates for Red Cross CPR, first aid, or babysitting courses make excellent stocking stuffers.
  • Contact your local Red Cross chapter for free Be Red Cross Ready preparedness brochures you can send to loved ones with your holiday cards.
  • Give emergency preparedness kits that can be kept in homes or vehicles as holiday gifts.

For more information, contact your Santa Cruz County Chapter at 831-462-2881. We would be happy to help you get your family prepared!