Americans unprepared for disasters

Though hurricane season is underway and September has been designated National Preparedness Month, fewer than one in 10 Americans are prepared for an emergency, the American Red Cross says.

In a recent poll conducted for the Red Cross by Harris Interactive, the vast majority of people have yet to compile a disaster kit, make a plan and get informed, three steps the charity says are critical to preparedness.

To help families get ready, the Red Cross has set up a free online tutorial that details the steps to readiness, and is offering a 10 percent discount on readiness products at its online store during September.

In Charlotte, N.C., for example, the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the Red Cross offers free preparedness presentations to community groups.

Of the Americans who do have a disaster kit, nine in 10 say they feel prepared, poll results say, but fewer than three in 10 people have yet to purchase or compile a kit.

Almost seven in 10 people who live in states plagued by hurricanes don’t have kits, and even fewer have planned how they will evacuate in the event of an emergency.

Overall, almost two in three Americans have no evacuation plan, the poll says.

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