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Red Cross Helps Seniors Prepare for Disaster:

The American Red Cross of Santa Monica and WISE & Healthy Aging have created a free, three-hour workshop that will prepare seniors and other participants to be ready for and survive a disaster such as a major earthquake. The “Be Prepared!” workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 for older adults, their caretakers and their families from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Ken Edwards Center in Santa Monica. Refreshments, gift bags, and prizes will be provided. The Ken Edwards Center is located at 1527 4th Street in downtown Santa Monica

Organizers encourage anyone involved in an older adult’s life to be part of their emergency planning process to ensure that they know how to prepare for and survive a disaster, including ways to communicate with family and friends during an emergency. Surviving a disaster can be as simple as putting together a few items and writing out a plan of action.

“The recent events in Haiti and Chile have made people more concerned about protecting themselves in the event of a disaster,” said Elizabeth Adams, an AmeriCorps member who is coordinating the event for the Red Cross and WISE & Healthy Aging. “With a major earthquake poised to strike Southern California in the years to come, the elderly are particularly at risk. Preparing ourselves, our families and our pets is vital.”

Mark Solnick, director of Disaster and Response for the American Red Cross of Santa Monica and Karen Halligan, renowned veterinarian, author, and TV/celebrity spokesperson will discuss how to prepare for a disaster, what to do during an earthquake and keeping pets safe.

After the presentations, participants will have the opportunity to speak with preparedness experts from the Red Cross to get one-on-one assistance with creating their own emergency plans. The workshop commemorates Red Cross Month on its final day.

For more information and to RSVP, call Elizabeth Adams at 424.203.1117 or email Santa Monica Red Cross at www.redcrosssofsantamonica.org or call 310.394.3773 during business hours or call Wise & Healthy Aging at 310.394.9871.

The American Red Cross of Santa Monica is a publicly supported, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that provides health and safety education, youth services, blood services, CPR and first aid training, disaster awareness and disaster relief efforts.

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