Preparing for Disaster through the Red Cross

Last month I signed up to become a disaster mental health counselor for the Red Cross.  I had a ‘feeling’ that many changes were afoot, and as Japan’s tragedy has unfolded, I feel very honored to now be pursuing training to help communities with the skills I have to offer.

Your local chapter also offers free disaster preparation classes, and we will be having on in Seattle on 3/20.

Natural and man-made disasters can strike at any time.  In being prepared, we are better able to cope if and when they should happen.  The basics of disaster preparedness as the Red Cross recommends include the following:

1.  Have a Supply kit:  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 • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items • Multipurpose 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.

2.  Make a plan:  Meet with family members and discuss what your evacuation plan would be.  Choose a non-emergency out of the area person as a contact in case your cell phone or local lines are blocked.  Brainstorm possible scenarios.

3.  Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur in your area. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood.

4.  Have at least one person in your family learn basic first aid and CPR.

5.  Learn a self-soothing technique such as Reiki.  You can put it in your emergency kit, and have it ‘ready to go’ if you or someone needs a way to calm down, adjust from shock, etc. until medical help is available.

Disasters, by their very nature, are tumultuous events.  They cause disruption and destruction.  But if we are better prepared and aware, the impact can be much less.  These are changing times and require us to take a serious look at how we can cope with what may come our way.  Not out of fear, but with confidence in skills and resources.  This is where we start.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. fairychakra
    Mar 14, 2011 @ 18:23:17

    Great Useful information….thanks for sharing, and Congratulations~

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