Tips on Preparing for Disaster

The high threat of terror caused a buying frenzy across America this week. Stores could barely keep up with the sale of plastic and duct tape. But Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, calmed those fears Friday, saying he doesn't want individuals sealing off their homes.

And while Red Cross is asking families to plan for a possible threat, Tammy Prater with the Smith County chapter says that's no different from any other time. Threats can include, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods.

"It's about not panicking," says Prater. "It's having yourself and your family organized to handle what may come."

Red Cross says there's six basic supplies needed in every type of emergency. For starters, a three-day supply of food, preferably foods that don't need preparation. They also recommend storing a gallon of water per day for each person in your home.

Putting together a medical kit is another essential. The kit should include sterile adhesive bandages, latex gloves, sterile gauze bandages, and over-the-counter drugs. If you take prescribed medications, ask a physician for an extra supply.

Since updated information will be broadcast during an emergency, they recommend having a battery operated radio and extra batteries.

In case of an evacuation, you'll need a duffel bag or backpack ready to carry your essentials with you.

Emergency personnel say the plastic and duct tape, you've been hearing about, should only be used during a chemical attack. Using it beforehand, could put you in danger.

But perhaps Red Cross's most important tip is staying calm. They want people prepared, not panicked. To check out a complete list of their emergency suggestions, log onto

Kerry Panchuk, reporting.