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RED CROSS WILL BE OFFERING COURSES IN PREPAREDNESS.

Byline: Mariel Garza Staff Writer

Mayor James Hahn joined Red Cross officials Tuesday to kick off a disaster preparedness campaign to help Angelenos prepare for natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

Starting next week, the Red Cross will hold ``Together We Prepare L.A.'' courses all over the Los Angeles. The agency will teach how to make an emergency plan, how to build a shelter-in-place, how to stop bleeding and attend to burns, and how to build a disaster kit.

``Natural disasters are one of the things that makes living in Southern California so exciting,'' Hahn quipped at a noon press conference at the Red Cross' Los Angeles chapter headquarters. And that might be why a recent Harris poll found that about half of Angelenos have disaster kits, he said, far more than the rest of the country.

``It's nice to be No. 1 in a survey, but it's even better if we are actually all prepared,'' Hahn said. ``The single most important contribution every family can make is to be prepared themselves.''

``We still have a long way to go,'' said James Haigwood, executive officer of the Los Angeles chapter of the Red Cross. And because of the level of public concern over terrorist attacks, now seemed like a good time to renew efforts to outfit residents with everything they need to survive a big disaster, he said.

Red Cross officials listed all the essentials in a disaster kit, such as extra food, water and a flashlight. Since the terrorist threats, duct tape and plastic sheeting are now a part of the kit as well, though the antibiotic Cipro and gas masks are not, said Kevin Leisher, director of emergency services for the Los Angeles chapter.

``We don't recommend gas masks,'' Leisher said. ``Gas masks are very specialized and need to be fitted.''

The preparedness courses cost $5 and will begin next Tuesday, with one at Red Cross Santa Clarita Valley Service Center. Another is set for March 18 at the San Fernando Valley Service Center in Van Nuys.

For more information on the courses in other areas of the city, call (800) 627-7000.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 5, 2003
Words:354
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