How You Can Be ‘Red Cross Ready’ for Birmingham National Readiness Month


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Carrie Bush, program manager and partnership 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 encourages Alabamians to make sure their households are prepared in case of an emergency. We interviewed Carrie Bush, American Red Cross Readiness and Partnership Program Manager, to find out what it means to be “Ready for the Red Cross. “

Build an emergency preparedness kit

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

TO minimum, your emergency preparedness kit should include:

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for drain, 2 week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable and easy to prepare items (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for the house).
  • Flash light
  • Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
  • Additional batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Drugs (7 day supply) and medical items
  • Versatile tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (list of medications and relevant medical information, proof of address, home deed / lease, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Mobile phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact details
  • The extra money
  • Blankets
  • Map (s) of the area
American Red Cross
Have you developed an emergency preparedness kit? Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

However, there is no “one size fits all” emergency preparedness kit. When preparing 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 card, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Additional car and house key set
  • Manual can opener

For more information on how to create your personalized emergency preparedness kit, click here to visit the American Red Cross website. In fact, the American Red Cross sells a Emergency Preparedness Starter Kit, which you can purchase from their website.

Have you taken steps to make sure you are prepared for a disaster? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

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Nathan Watson

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

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