American Red Cross has lifesaving tips in severe weather - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

American Red Cross has lifesaving tips in severe weather situations

A kit like this can make a huge difference A kit like this can make a huge difference
(Toledo News Now) -

With severe weather on the minds of many after our first thunderstorm warnings of the year, and tornados swept through the south, now is the time to be prepared before disaster strikes.

Being Red Cross ready doesn't take long. Get a kit, have a plan, and be educated. Those three things can make all the difference before, during and after disaster strikes.

"It's not going to be unfortunately a happy ending in most respects, at least not a totally happy ending. But it can be a lot less damaging and a lot less tragic in terms of losing loved ones if you're prepared before it happens," said Todd James, Executive Director, Hancock County Red Cross.

James has been dispatched to six disaster relief efforts and has seen firsthand the devastation left behind.

"It doesn't matter really the time of the year, there's always going to be something that could endanger our families and our homes. We've got to be prepared before it happens," said James.

James' first piece of advice is to have a plan. Talk to your family about how to exit your home safely. Designate a place to meet up if you get separated and have a contact person to check in with if you get split up.

The second part is to have a kit and make sure it is easily accessible. You want three days worth of supplies for each person in the house. Water, food, flashlights, clothes, important documents and cash should be included.

Lastly, James says being informed is the key.

"Stay on top of the information before disaster happens, while it's happening and after it, so you know the most up to date information on how to protect your family, how to get help and resources after a disaster happens," said James.

Part of the American Red Cross' mission is to build a resilient community.

"You can't replace a lost life, you can't replace losing a husband or a wife or a son or a daughter and there are steps we can take to prevent that and they're easy steps to take," said James.

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