Local red cross ready to help - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Local red cross ready to help

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Released by Linda Edwards of the Smith County Chapter of the American Red Cross:

TYLER, TX - The American Red Cross, Smith County Chapter, is monitoring the developing situation with this swine flu (H1N1 flu) outbreak and is in close contact with state and local officials. "This is a serious situation that has the potential to spread, and it is a good time for families, businesses and organizations to follow good public health practices and to review and update their preparedness plans", says Executive Director Tammy Prater.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • The Red Cross recommends storing a two-week supply of food, water and household necessities such as laundry detergent and toilet paper. A gallon of water per person per day should be stored in clean plastic containers. Family preparation steps should also include storing formula for infants, food for special nutritional needs, essential medicines and medical items, and extra food for pets.
  • Stocking extra food, water and supplies at home will reduce the need to go out should this swine flu strain become more widespread and schools or businesses temporarily close.
  • Common sense basic public health practices should be followed. These include covering your cough/sneeze with a tissue, frequent hand-washing, contacting a doctor for flu-like symptoms and staying home when sick.

While Red Cross organizations in Mexico and other nations provide basic medical care to the public as part of their ongoing mission, the American Red Cross and its chapters have different responsibilities, and focus more on providing shelter, food and mental health counseling.

The American Red Cross and its chapters will continue to work with government officials on the swine flu issue and stand ready to help as appropriate. The American Red Cross is committed to maintaining the blood supply for the public, to educating the public on preparedness and safety, and to ensuring that we can continue to provide disaster services to those in need.

People seeking information on human swine flu should visit the CDC web site at www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ or call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit your local Public Health Department web site at www.healthyeasttx.org

For further information on flu preparedness and a short video titled "Pandemic Flu, Are You Prepared?" (under the Red Cross News section) or for other Red Cross programs visit the American Red Cross web site at www.redcross.org.

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