Capital Area Red Cross Shopping List

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The Capital Area Red Cross says it's time to say a fond farewell to hurricane season 2005, and what better a way to do that than to mix the holiday season with preparing for the next hurricane season?

"Let's use the opportunity to buy stocking stuffers and gifts to make friends and family prepared for the 2006 hurricane season or any kind of disaster," says Chris Floyd with the Capital Area American Red Cross.

The Red Cross has its own version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" and says the concept is very simple.

"Keeping families prepared for disasters is truly a community effort to get families and individuals to purchase those kinds of gifts during the holiday season to make everyone safer."

A list of the gift ideas from the Red Cross includes smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and flashlights. Some other good ideas would be a weather radio, an escape ladder for two story homes, and put together a family disaster supply kit, and one for any pets.

"They make excellent gifts and they're relatively inexpensive. Anyone who doesn't have these things needs too," says Home Depot sales associate Tom Malone.

The Red Cross also recommends everyone have a family disaster preparedness kit with basics like batteries, water and non-perishable foods. It would also help to learn first aid and CPR.

These are just some basic ideas to help make your holidays a little merrier, and the next hurricane season a lot safer.