American Red Cross urges preparedness |

American Red Cross urges preparedness

For the Tribune

As Californians and Nevadans watch more than 500,000 people being forced to quickly evacuate their homes because of raging fires in Southern California, the Red Cross reminds citizens to be prepared for similar emergencies.

“I’ve seen numerous interviews with distraught people who said they only had time to grab a photo or two,” said Caroline Punches, executive director of the Northern Nevada Chapter of the Red Cross. “If you have a list of key items you need in an emergency, and know their location, you can take what’s important in the five minutes you have to escape.”

While wild fires get the media attention, household fires occur every 2 to 3 days in Nevada, Punches said.

“A disaster like San Diego reminds us of the devastation fire can have on a family, but there are single home fires every few days that devastate families, and we should all be prepared for those as well,” said Punches.

The American Red Cross encourages everyone to follow the steps listed below to protect your family, home and property at a time of disaster:

” Develop a family plan that lists where to go and who to call if you get separated.

” Plan several escape routes away from your home by car and by foot.

” Prepare disaster supply kits with prescription drugs, food, water, clothing, and copies of key documents like insurance papers, birth certificates, household inventory, etc.

” Make a list of key items you want to take, and note their location, so you can retrieve them quickly.

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