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Red Cross says now is the time to prepare of emergencies

Aug 23, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: Sep 28, 2022, 10:16 am
red cross van...
FILE - Red Cross volunteer Shelley Smedley loads up a Red Cross van on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- On the heels of flash flooding in southern and eastern Utah, The Red Cross is encouraging people across the state to prepare for a potential emergency.

“The best time to get prepared for disasters is before they happen,” said Keith Paul, Communications Director for the Red Cross of Utah. “We have seen, not just here in Utah, but across the country, the impact of disasters.”

According to a Washington Post analysis for 2021, 40% of Americans, around 130-million people, lived in a county that was hit by a climate-related disaster.

Three suggestions for people looking to prepare include making an emergency kit. This can include a gallon of water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first-aid kit, medications, infant supplies, a multi-purpose tool and personal hygiene items. Things like cell phone chargers, copies of important documents, blankets, maps and an emergency contact list are also encouraged.

The second suggestion is to create an emergency plan based on individual and family needs. This includes any accommodations for pets and people with special needs. The Red Cross encourages people to coordinate with school, work and community plans. The third is to stay informed about the community and what is happening on the day-to-day.

The Red Cross is also looking for volunteers and blood donors amid a recent shortage. “We’ve seen a 20-percent decline in the national blood supply over the previous few months,” Paul said. “What we really need is for people to donate blood.”

For information about nearby blood drives visit the Utah website of the American Red Cross.

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