Red Cross: Be Prepared

With the official start of the 2011 hurricane season, the Red Cross has a message for residents: now is the time to get prepared. Pat Hernandez has more.

The tropics are calm early into this hurricane season, and people should use this time to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Steve Vetrano is CEO of the Greater Houston Area Red Cross. He says they now have a website, where you can determine what your family needs are, based on the number of family members.

Long time residents know what it takes to stay a step ahead of any disaster, but Vetrano says now is a good time to check your disaster supply kit.

“If you have things that have an expiration date on there that you’re checking it, and replenishing it if things are used. It’s also an easy place to go. If you’re looking for batteries, you know you have some in your disaster supply kit, I’ll just go pilfer that, and then you forget to replace them. So, having the kit is important in the first place, knowing where it is, keeping it replenished and updated, and that prepares you to be ready to go, if in fact, you need to evacuate.”

The last time the Houston area was affected by a Hurricane was Ike in 2008. I asked Vetrano if complacency was a concern.

“That’s great question Pat, and something we talk about all the time here because as time does go by, people do become complacent, which is why we try to get the word out on what people should do to be prepared, and always coming up with new ways to help people be prepared, like our iPhone apps and our safe and well website.”

The free iPhone app is updated every 30-minutes during a disaster. You can find more information on being prepared this hurricane season by going to  Also if disaster does occur, visit the Safe and Well page to communicate with others during a disater.