The American Red Cross Santa Monica chapter and the Santa Monica Fire Department have launched a month-long campaign advising Santa Monicans to “be prepared” for emergencies and disasters, especially earthquakes.

The agencies launched the “I’ve Got 7” campaign in front of Santa Monica Fire Station No. 1 earlier this month, which is Emergency Preparedness Month.

The purpose of the campaign is to prepare for the unthinkable, according to the agencies.

“Having seven days worth of supplies in case of disaster is now being recommended, therefore the ‘I’ve Got 7’ theme,” says John Pacheco, executive director of the Santa Monica Red Cross. “Self-sufficiency could be the key to surviving and riding out a cataclysm such as a major earthquake.”

The campaign will consist of flyers and preparedness pledges to be distributed at retail stores, schools and major businesses throughout the city and a Web site, www.smgov.net/ivegot7/, with information about preparing for and coping with disasters.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS TIPS — The seven basic steps for disaster preparedness include:

— having a week’s supply of nonperishable food and water on hand;

— keeping a battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries;

— keeping a fully stocked first aid kit;

— having cash on hand, as ATM machines and credit cards are useless without power;

— having sturdy clothing and bedding — long pants, long-sleeve shirts, hard-soled shoes, gloves and sleeping bags, pads and plastic sheeting;

— having special needs items such as medicine, eyeglasses, contact lens solutions, sanitary supplies, baby needs, matches, passports (identification) and pet sup- plies on hand; and

— creating contact information for someone out of the area who can relay messages to family and friends if local communications are down and having have a family emergency plan.

The Santa Monica Red Cross and Santa Monica Fire Department also recommend signing up for first aid, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and other disaster preparedness classes or seminars.

“This year, RAND Corporation, MTV Networks, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the City of Santa Monica, The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Santa Monica Daily Press, and Trader Joe’s Markets have joined forces to promote being prepared,” says Paul Weinberg, the City of Santa Monica’s director of emergency services. “This will give everyone a chance to learn about and accomplish what must be done to keep their families safe and in relative comfort when a serious disaster occurs.”

A special school preparedness campaign will target Santa Monica-Malibu classrooms. Major businesses and key local employers are preparing special programs to take the “be prepared” message to their staffs. The city is also participating.

In all cases, employees in both public and private sector entities, as well as members of the community who make pledges to be prepared, are eligible for drawings and prizes.

For complete “I’ve Got 7” information, including checklists, safety hints, a shopping list of necessary supplies, and pledge card, log on to www.smgov.net/ivegot7/.

The American Red Cross of Santa Monica is a nonprofit corporation that provides health and safety education, youth services, CPR and first aid training, disaster awareness and disaster relief efforts.

Information on the Santa Monica chapter, (310) 394-3773, or www.redcrossofsantamonica.org/.

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