May is emergency preparedness month and the American Red Cross of Santa Monica and the City of Santa Monica are launching a month-long campaign advising city residents to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

The campaign will feature the “I’ve Got 7” checklist of seven steps for preparing for emergencies.

Features of the campaign include fliers to be distributed at retail stores, supermarkets and other sites throughout the city, and a Web site, www.ivegot7.com

In addition to the fliers there will be other documents to promote the checklist.

“One of the lessons Hurricane Katrina taught us was that having three days of emergency supplies wasn’t enough,” said John Pacheco, executive director of the Santa Monica Red Cross. “Seven days worth of supplies is now being recommended; therefore the ‘I’ve Got 7’ theme.”

Many local businesses have offered tickets, prizes, discount coupons and other incentives to encourage the public to be aware and be prepared by pledging to follow the seven steps:

– have a week’s supply of nonperishable food and water on hand;

– keep available a battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries;

– keep a fully stocked first aid kit;

– have cash on hand because ATM cards and credit cards would be useless without a power supply;

– have sturdy clothing available, such as long pants, long-sleeve shirts, hard-soled shoes and gloves;

– have special needs supplies available, such as medicine, eyeglasses, sanitary supplies, matches, passports and identification, and food, water, toys, and cages for pets; and

– keep contact information for someone out of the area who can relay messages to family and friends if local communications are down.

On each piece of “I’ve Got 7” campaign material is a pledge card that can be filled out and returned to the Santa Monica Red Cross to be entered into a drawing for prizes and gifts.

The campaign began Monday, May 1st, and the drawing will be held Friday, June 2nd.

“The events will be held throughout the month of May,” said Paul Weinberg, the City of Santa Monica’s director of Emergency Services. “This will give everyone a chance to see and accomplish what must be done to keep their families safe and in relative comfort if a serious disaster were to occur.”

A special school campaign will target seventh-graders to teach them to be prepared.

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