Red Cross Promotes Disaster Preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month, and leaders with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross want you to be ready in case of another disaster.

"This year alone we reached out to over 7,000 people in the community providing preparedness information," says Bill Brent, Executive Director with the American Red Cross.

Brent says people should always have a disaster preparedness kit whether they buy it from the Red Cross or make it themselves. The kit should have the necessities to survive for at least five days, and that's something that most people don't have.

In a recent national survey conducted by the Red Cross, only seven percent of Americans say they are ready for the next disaster. 82 percent say it's because they don't know what to do. But leaders believe the numbers may be a little different along the coast

"I think that we certainly have a higher sense of consciousness about the issues of being prepared, and following Katrina two years ago, there are a lot of people who weren't prepared that certainly are today," Brent said.

Ramona Welder is the director of development for the Red Cross.

"Being in a disaster prone area, we need to take the measures ahead of time rather than when we have a few hours to get things together and scramble," says Welder.

Now as south Mississippians enter the middle of this year's hurricane season, the Red Cross wants people to remember preparing now, could save a life later.

If you want more information on disaster kits or for other information on disaster preparedness, you can call the Red Cross at 896-4511.