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While the terror threat level remains at "Elevated/Yellow," the American Red Cross is urging families and individuals across the nation to continue to be diligent and make appropriate preparations according to the Red Cross Recommendations for the Homeland Security Advisory System, available at www.redcross.org.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge reminds "every citizen using their common sense and eyes and ears can support our national effort to stop terrorists." The American Red Cross would also like to remind every citizen that they can take some simple steps to prepare themselves and their families for a terrorist attack.

"Making an emergency plan and building a disaster supplies kit is invaluable," said Joe Becker, Vice President of Response, American Red Cross. "Preparing for any type of disaster gives peace of mind and lessens anxiety in a time of uncertainty."

Each level of Red Cross recommendations includes completing the identified actions at the lesser threat levels. The following is a summary of recommended actions for "Yellow" and lower levels:


  • Review your Personal Disaster Plan.
  • Ensure your Disaster Supplies Kit is stocked and ready.
  • Check telephone numbers/e-mail addresses in your personal communication plan, update as needed.
  • Develop alternate routes to/from work/school and practice them.
  • Provide volunteer services and take advantage of additional volunteer training opportunities.


  • Review your Family Disaster Plan with all family members.
  • Check items in your Disaster Supplies Kit and replace items that are outdated. Be sure to include necessary items for family members with special needs, like young children or seniors.
  • If not known toyon, contact your child's school to determine their emergency notification and evacuation plans.
  • Develop alternate routes to/from work/school and practice them.
  • Ensure the emergency communication plan is understood and practiced by all family members.
  • Discuss children's fears concerning possible terrorist attacks.


  • Check on neighbors who are elderly or have special needs to ensure they are okay. Review their disaster plan with them.
  • If a need is announced, contact nearest blood collection agency and offer to organize a neighborhood blood drive.


  • Ensure all emergency supplies are stocked and ready.
  • Prepare to handle inquiries from anxious parents and media.
  • Obtain copies of Terrorism: Preparing for the Unexpected brochure from your local Red Cross chapter and send it home with students in grades K-12, staff and faculty.
  • Conduct safety training/emergency drills following the school's written emergency plan for all grades.
  • Continue offering lessons from the "Masters of Disaster" curriculum for grades K-8 regarding emergency preparedness for natural disasters.


  • Review emergency plans, including continuity of operations and media materials on hand.
  • Ensure that the emergency communication plan is updated and includes the purchase of needed emergency equipment as detailed in the Red Cross Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry.
  • Contact vendors/suppliers to confirm their emergency response plan procedures.
  • Ask the local Red Cross chapter to provide a Terrorism: Preparing for the Unexpected presentation at your workplace for employees.

To download the full versions of the Red Cross Recommendations for the Homeland Security Advisory System, visit www.redcross.org, where you can also find a wide variety of free publications in a variety of languages to help citizens prepare for terrorism and natural disasters. To donate blood or host a blood drive at your business, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.