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National Preparedness Month: Tips For Your Family

The American Red Cross has tips for you and your family should disaster strike.
PEORIA – Severe storms, house fires and of course, rising flood waters are all emergency situations we’ve seen in central Illinois. The American Red Cross is encouraging families to prepare for the unexpected during National Preparedness Month.

A fire or flood is just two disasters that could leave your family without the basic necessities. Red Cross Spokesperson Erin Miller said, “We know that people don't always think it will happen to them but I always tell people, go ahead and have it and hopefully you'll never need it.

Mills said she’s encouraging people to take a few minutes and look at your family and your home, and make a plan that everyone understands. “It's important that you have an escape route at least 2, so that people in the event of a fire can get out. You also want to make sure you have one central meeting location.”

Another tool you can use that is right at your fingertips is your cell phone. Miller suggests picking from several free Red Cross applications to stay informed. “A lot of disasters may happen in the middle of the night. We may be sleeping. Well you can monitor locations and that way if there's a severe weather event you can be notified and be able to react accordingly.”

Something else that Miller said will go a long way – a kit. “One thing you want to do is make sure you have a kit.”

That kit can have everything in it from bottled water, to first aid items, and extra batteries. She said they are all easy steps that will ease the struggle when time is of the essence. “You really want to make sure you're prepared, whether it's a big event like a tornado or a flood or if it's something small and more common, like a home fire. You want to make sure your family knows how to respond quickly."

Part of Governor Quinn’s preparedness efforts included naming the Peoria Civic Center a place for emergency and response efforts. The Civic Center was used as a headquarters for the Red Cross when the local area was plagued with historic flooding in April.
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