March 18, 2003 at 10:30 PM CST - Updated June 19 at 2:50 PM
American Red Cross' "Together We Prepare" Program By: Wendy Ray
Across the country and right here in the Heartland, the American Red Cross is gearing up to help families feel safer in this time of uncertainty. It's part of a Red Cross campaign called "Together We Prepare." The training itself is nothing new, but there is a new sense of urgency to make sure we are all prepared.
American Red Cross Director Mary Burton says, "We are here for the military and to train people year round, all the time." But things have picked up at the Red Cross. The phones have been ringing off the hooks there with concerned people wanting to know what they can do to be prepared, if we go to war.
Terry Triplett wants to be ready. "We've been saving water, canned foods, and things like that because it can be devastating," she says. Putting together a disaster kit is just one part of the Red Cross' "Together We Prepare" campaign. Everything from a first aid kit to personal items should be put in, but not everyone thinks it's something they have to do. Max Moore of Chaffee says, "Living in the Heartland, I don't think we're at that big of a threat."
But Burton says everyone needs to be prepared. "Make a plan, volunteer, give blood, get trained for any disaster, any emergency," Burton says.
Blood banks need to be full in case units are needed. David Palmer with the Red Cross says, "There are plans in place where if the military calls us needing blood there are plans in effect so we can handle the situation." Even though getting prepared may sound new to us, being prepared isn't new to the Red Cross. "The Red Cross is not just getting ready to respond to this situation, it's what we do everyday," Burton says.
Even with this new preparedness push, the Red Cross will still be there to help victims of fires, floods, or other natural disasters.