Red Cross offering hurricane survival kits online

The American Red Cross is helping Floridians prepare for hurricane season by offering convenient emergency supplies online. Hurricane season near the Atlantic Oceans lasts from June through November.
The Red Cross offers supplies such as first aid kits, hand-crank radios, flashlights, whistles and safety tubes online. The prices vary from $6 to $95.
The Red Cross started selling emergency supplies online because it found it convenient for customers.
Jacar McCloud, a disaster program specialist at the American Red Cross’ Capital Area Chapter, said customers benefit from the online service.
“Selling supplies online is more convenient because it’s delivered right to your door,” McCloud said. “You don’t have to leave your doorstep to be safe.”
Sharon Tyler, chief executive officer at the American Red Cross’ Capital Area Chapter, said her goal is to have everyone prepared for a disaster.
“The better prepared the community is, the more resilient we are in the face of a disaster,” Tyler said.
Evin Matthews, a senior sociology student from Orlando, said he is excited that the Red Cross decided to sell supplies online.
“The Red Cross has federally approved emergency supplies,” Matthews said. “I can feel safe purchasing them online, knowing I’m getting quality material.”
If customers cannot afford the supplies, Tyler suggests they put together a kit at home.
The home kit can be supplies they already have. Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Target sell similar emergency supplies.
“You will have the emergency supplies on hand, and you’re not looking around,” McCloud said. “It’s grab and go.”
Tyler added that the Red Cross’ proceeds go to a good cause.
“All the money that comes in from the Red Cross goes back to the clients,” Tyler said. “Ninety-one cents of every dollar goes toward our humanitarian service.”
One benefit of ordering the emergency supplies online is that they’re good year round.
“Don’t just wait until June to get supplies,” McCloud said. “You need them year round for other emergencies like tornadoes and floods, and you may need to leave your house very quickly.”
Tyler encourages Floridians to be safe during disaster season by staying informed through social media. She also suggests Floridians get in touch with their local American Red Cross chapter.
Don Lauritzen, officer of preparedness and health and safety services communications at American Red Cross, said apps can save a life during a disaster.
“The Red Cross has developed a series of mobile apps that provide users with instant access to expert advice on what to do before, during and after emergencies,” Lauritzen said.
The app for the Red Cross is free and available for all smartphones.