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Red Cross to offer free virtual preparedness classes

PORTLAND, Ore.  (KTVZ) -- The devastating winter storms our region just experienced, and this past summer’s wildfires, serve as a painful reminder that disasters can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime – even during a pandemic.  

So, in honor of March being Red Cross Month, the Red Cross Cascades Region is hosting a series of free emergency preparedness presentations throughout the month. All presentations are virtual, and everyone is welcome to attend. Red Cross volunteers are available for virtual media interviews today.

How to prepare for emergencies:  

Starting today and taking place every Tuesday in March from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., classes will cover the most common disasters we face in the Pacific Northwest and how to prepare for them. Whether you’re motivated to start building your preparedness kit, or need a refresher course, these classes are designed to help families and individuals learn how to be better prepared. Information and links can be found at redcross.org/cascades.  

  • March 2nd: Winter Storm Safety 
  • March 9th: Wildfire Safety 
  • March 16th: Earthquake Safety 
  • March 23rd: Flooding Safety 
  • March 30th: Home Fire Safety 

We recognize that preparing for emergencies looks a little different right now, but the three basic action steps remain the same: Build a Kit, Make a Plan and Be Informed. In addition to the preparedness series, the Red Cross Cascades Region has a free downloadable Prepare! Guide available in four languages, EnglishSpanishVietnamese and Russian. Red Cross B-roll is available here.

WHAT IS RED CROSS MONTH For nearly 80 years, U.S. presidents have proclaimed March as Red Cross Month to recognize people giving back through its lifesaving mission — which is powered by more than 90% volunteers. 

They include people who volunteer to provide emotional support, psychological first aid and referrals to community assistance for families coping with disasters during the pandemic. 

HOW TO HELP You can help ensure that families don’t face emergencies alone — especially during a pandemic: 

  • DONATE: Support our Disaster Relief efforts at redcross.org/GivingDay. A gift of any size makes a difference to provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance. Your donation will be part of our annual Giving Day on March 24 to aid families in need across the country. 
  • VOLUNTEER: Visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday for most-needed positions and local opportunities. 
  • GIVE BLOOD: If you’re healthy and feeling well, make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org. Your donation can make a lifesaving difference for a patient in need. As a thank you, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma on March 15-26 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. 
  • LEARN LIFESAVING SKILLS: Take a class in skills like CPR and first aid to help in an emergency at redcross.org/TakeAClass. Online options include our Psychological First Aid for COVID-19 course, which covers how to manage stress and support yourself and others. 

About the American Red Cross: 

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/cascades or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossCasc

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