The following is a press release from the American Red Cross Panhandle Plains Chapter:

AMARILLO, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Extreme drought, flooding, tornadoes and wildfires are becoming more frequent, threatening communities in the Panhandle Plains, as the region feels the impacts of climate change. September is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross, Panhandle Plains Chapter, urges everyone to get ready for these emergencies now.

Just last year, more than 40 percent of Americans — some 130 million people — were living in a county struck by a climate-related disaster, according to analysis from the Washington Post. Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime. You can get prepared by visiting redcross.org/prepare.

“Being prepared for a natural disaster is just another element of personal responsibility,” said Kiley Murray, Executive Director, Panhandle Plains Chapter. “We can incorporate our preparedness into our daily lives. Keep a preparedness kit readily available at home and in your vehicle. It’s important to always be ready wherever you are because Texas weather can change in an instant.”

THREE EASY STEPS 

Three simple steps can help to keep your family safe during disasters — 1) Get a Kit. 2) Make a Plan. 3) Be Informed.

  1. Build your emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight and a battery-powered radio. Also include a first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants or pets, a multi-purpose tool and personal hygiene items. And don’t forget to add copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
  2. Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you have to evacuate. Make sure to coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans.
  3. Stay informed by finding out what emergency situations may occur where you live, work and go to school, how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.

Include your pets in your emergency plans. Remember, if you and your family need to evacuate, so does your pet. It’s important to plan in advance to know which pet-friendly hotels are in your area, and where your pets can stay in an emergency situation.

Take any special considerations into account as part of your emergency planning. Older adults or people with mobility, hearing, learning or seeing disabilities may need to create a support network of people that can help during an emergency. Create a plan that takes into account your capabilities, any help you may need and who can provide it, especially if you need to evacuate or if the power goes out for several days.

HELP YOUR COMMUNITY 
There are things you can do to help your community get prepared. “Be ready to not only help your loved ones, but your neighbors too,” said Murray. “You can volunteer or take a class and learn lifesaving skills.”

Red Cross volunteers play critical roles in their local communities. Join us as a Disaster Action Team volunteer to ensure that families don’t have to face tough times alone.

Learn lifesaving skills so you can help people in a crisis until medical professionals arrive. Sign up for a first aid, CPR or other classes available online or in-person.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/northtexas or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNTX.

(Press release from the American Red Cross Panhandle Plains Chapter)