(SAVANANNAH) Severe weather rolls in before spring as winter yields to warmer temperatures. That change triggers an array of weather trouble, from the aftermath of thunderstorms, to heavy rains that produce flooding, to one of the most terrible threats, tornadoes. While the public relies on the experts to keep us informed, the American Red Cross says people can be proactive and prepare for personal impacts from severe weather events. The Red Cross deals with all disasters. “Our volunteers are trained to be able to deal with anything, whether it be the flood, whether it be the, um, tornado, and or the thunderstorm, after the thunderstorms of course, the damage that comes from that.” said Esther M. Sheppard, Executive Director for the American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia. Sheppard and other emergency planners, like Chatham Emergency Management Agency Director, Dennis Jones, urge the public to get a disaster kits ready right now. “We want people to have those kits stashed away in their closet, that way if an emergency event happens, regardless of what it is, they have at least a minimum amount of supplies they can use for their families.” Jones said.
There are items that every disaster kit needs like say, a first aid kit, water, batteries, flashlight, a radio. But these universal items should be joined by the things that your family needs, but may not be included on suggested lists for disaster kits. Sheppard says that’s due to individual needs driving the personal inventory of disaster kits. That’s what makes each kit tailored for your families needs, especially medicines. “Always make sure you have enough to get you through at least seven days without being able to perhaps get to a pharmacy or have a refill, so we ask people to keep in mind those types of things.” said Sheppard.