HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Everyone knows the Red Cross helps people during emergencies. But you may not know that it’s also part of our mission to help you help yourself! Becoming “Red Cross Ready” for an emergency means following our simple steps in advance to ensure you can weather a crisis safely and comfortably. Being prepared may not prevent a disaster, but it will give you the confidence to meet the challenge.

Getting prepared may sound difficult, but the Red Cross says it's actually very doable. They suggest you put a survival kit together with essential supplies for your family, make a plan in case of an emergency and understand which disasters are likely to occur in your area.

What Do You Need In A Survival Kit?

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
  1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  3. Flashlight
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  5. Extra batteries (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store)
  6. Deluxe family first aid kit
  7. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  8. Multi-purpose tool
  9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  10. Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  11. Cell phone with chargers (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store)
  12. Family and emergency contact information
  13. Extra cash
  14. Emergency blanket
  15. Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

The North Alabama Chapter provides programs and services to the citizens of Cherokee, Colbert, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall and Morgan counties. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For more information or assistance, please contact your local Red Cross office. To learn how you can volunteer, click here.

North Alabama Chapter
1015 Airport Rd SW Suite 202
Huntsville, AL 35802
Phone: 1-256-536-0084

Dekalb County
111 Grand Avenue SW
Fort Payne, AL 35967
Phone: 256-845-0202

Marshall County
436 A Blount Avenue
Guntersville, AL 35967
Phone: 256-582-5800

Morgan/Lawrence County
400-D 14th Street
Decatur, AL 35601
Phone: 256-353-4891

Jackson County
21175 John T Reid Parkway
Scottsboro, AL 35768
Phone: 256-259-2577