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PUBLISHED: 1:37 PM on Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Be prepared
Classes train volunteers for emergencies
Just in case

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and each car.

• Adhesive bandages, various sizes
• 5" x 9" sterile dressing
• Conforming roller gauze bandage
• Sterile gauze pads.
• Cohesive bandage roll
• Waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Antiseptic wipes.
• Non-latex gloves
• Adhesive tape, 2" width
• Anti-bacterial ointment
• Cold pack
• Scissors
• Tweezers
• CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield

It could be a car crash or a natural disaster, but being prepared for the worst can save lives in any given situation.

That is why the Red Cross and the City and Borough of Juneau are working to get people prepared for a variety of emergency situations.

The Red Cross offers classes from basic CPR and first aid and babysitting classes to wilderness survival and disaster relief.

"We want people to have the education. Your comfort level goes up so high when you know that you know these things," said George Briggs, Red Cross southeast district director. "Chances are you will never have to do CPR on someone, but it's important to know how if you do. It feels really cool to help someone stay alive."

Briggs said the wilderness survival class is important in Southeast Alaska because many are involved in outdoor activities.

"It goes through how to get out of certain situations. It's just like you see in the movies and goes further," Briggs said. "So many things pop up that you think you have covered in life."

Classes vary in cost and length and the money is used for instructors and materials.

Briggs said that while interest has been heightened because of the recent hurricanes in the Southern United States, fires are what the organization helps with the most.

"Fires are the No. 1 disaster the Red Cross assists with," Briggs said. "If a fire displaces someone, we assess the situation and help with temporary housing and do what we can. We help out with the relief and then get the people to an organization that can do more for the people."

CBJ sponsors the Community Emergency Response Team, which is a program to train citizens to respond to a natural disaster. Michael Patterson, CBJ emergency programs manager, said the program is intended for use in the area, but volunteers could be deployed across the country if necessary.

"The volunteers are there to assist police and firefighters," Patterson said. "They can help direct traffic, hand out meds and food and coordinate where people go."

There is no cost for the training, and Patterson said the program is open to anyone.

"Juneau is an isolated community and if something catastrophic happens, it would take three to seven days for help to arrive," Patterson said.

"The more people we have as volunteers then the better we are a community and can be self-sustaining."

Patterson said people should have a week's worth of supplies on hand in case of an emergency.

For information about emergency kits and tips, go online to fema.org or redcross.org.

Briggs said he would like to see more people trained in emergency relief.

"Bad things happen and it's good to be prepared. It costs very little money and very little time," Briggs said.

"It's like having insurance. I hate to make that payment for car insurance each month, but the moment you don't have it, something happens."


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