Natural Hazards Observer

January 2005
Volume XXIX | Number 3

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American Red Cross and Home Depot
Announce Ready Gear


The American Red Cross and The Home Depot have announced the launch of Ready Gear, an emergency kit containing essential, lifesaving items recommended by the Red Cross. The contents of the kit can aid two adults for 72 hours during or immediately following a disaster or emergency. Items in the kit, which may be used whether evacuating or sheltering-in-place, include emergency instructions, food, water, duct tape (naturally), a flashlight, batteries, an AM/FM radio, blankets, and a first aid kit. A full list of the contents of the kit is available in the press release, which can be read at,1077,0_489_3573,00.html.

Retailing for $79.99 (which includes a $10.00 donation to the Red Cross), Ready Gear is available for purchase at The Home Depot in selected coastal and “high threat” markets in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Visit The Home Depot on the Web at or call their customer service toll-free number (800) 553-3199. The Red Cross also sells a variety of its own preassembled kits through local chapters and online at

Welcome to a New Graduate Research Assistant

The Natural Hazards Center has hired a new graduate research assistant. Christine Bevc moved to Colorado from Orlando, Florida, this year to pursue a PhD in sociology with a concentration in environmental sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Bevc, who has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a triple minor in sociology, environmental studies, and health sciences, received her masters in applied sociology in May 2004 from the University of Central Florida. Her master’s thesis looked at the physical and psychological impacts of chronic contamination around a Superfund site. Natural disasters, acute and chronic technological disasters, GIS applications, research methods, and environmental sociology top the list of her current research interests. Her recent research has focused on the Florida hurricanes and their impact on community solidarity along with the use of the National Guard and local law enforcement. Welcome Christine!

New Study Suggests Kids Could Use
More Disaster Training

Preliminary results from an American Red Cross study suggest that students show no increase in disaster knowledge after the fifth grade. Researchers found that while kindergarteners through fifth graders showed an increase in disaster knowledge every year until the fifth grade, after the fifth grade, disaster knowledge actually appeared to decrease as did the students’ overall ability to react to disaster situations.


These findings are from the School Safety Initiative (SSI), the prototype for the Together We Prepare program, which helps schools prevent, prepare for, and respond to violent incidents, natural disasters, and other emergencies. The SSI study analyzes data from elementary, middle, and high schools in eight cities. More than 10,000 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, their teachers, and school staff participated in the first phase of the study. Their knowledge, behavior, and attitudes in regard to first aid, safety, disaster knowledge and preparedness, and leadership were surveyed.

Phase two of the study will evaluate the effect of Red Cross resources, which are currently in schools around the country. Resources like Masters of Disaster, a kit of ready-to-go lesson plans, activities, and demonstrations of hazard-related lifesaving information, are designed for flexibility to allow for integration into the core academic subjects. Supplements to Masters of Disaster include Facing Fear, developed after 9/11 to address a demand by educators and caregivers for materials to help children cope in uncertain times.

For more information on American Red Cross preparedness and safety resources for kids, visit,1082,0_503_,00.html or contact them at 2025 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20006;

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