Being prepared doesn’t just apply to the Boy Scouts anymore. At least not when it comes to the American Red Cross.

With the devastation that was left by this year’s hurricanes, and with the natural disasters that occur across the nation every year, the American Red Cross has set a mission to educate people on how to prepare themselves for disasters.

The American Red Cross will present a “Disaster Preparedness” class from 7-8 p.m. Thursday at the Edmond Library.

“No matter where you live, it is possible to experience some sort of natural disaster at anytime,” said American Red Cross volunteer Elizabeth Hopkins.

“(The American Red Cross) will always provide help in these situations, but the best thing we can do is educate the public, so they know steps to take,” she said.

Although Edmond won’t experience a hurricane, there are plenty of other natural disasters that could effect everyday life.

“Tornados are always the No. 1 question we get, but unfortunately sometimes people don’t ask questions until something has already happened,” Hopkins said.

Some steps the American Red Cross recommend to prepare for disasters include knowing the community’s warning signals, such as the tornado sirens, and know what to do when you hear them.

“The class is something that (could) benefit anyone,” said librarian Jaquie Taylor. “Even though the hurricanes are on everyone’s minds, this class will be educational for all of us right here in Edmond.”

How to prepare for fires and severe weather will also be discussed. Working together as a team is also a great way to prepare, designating responsibilities and choosing places to meet.

The American Red Cross recommends choosing two places to meet in case of an emergency, one outside your home in the event of a sudden emergency, and one outside your neighborhood in case returning home isn’t possible.

Also, designate an out-of-state friend or family member to be a family contact because after a disaster it’s often easier to call long distance than locally. If all family members call this person and tell their location, families are more likely to safely find each other.


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