March is National Red Cross Month. With the callof the cardinal ringing in the air, it’s also a time for spring cleaning. American Red Cross in the Finger Lakes invites you to celebrate Red Cross Month and Spring For Family Preparedness!Spring cleaning means mopping up, tossing out, and giving your home a good once over. This year, while you make your home sparkle, why not make it safe? And while you’re at it, make your community a safer place, too! March into Spring with our Weekend Preparedness GuideSaturday, March 6* Clean out closets* Build a KitIt only takes 45 minutes to assemble enough supplies in your home (in one place) to meet your needs for at least three days. Build a disaster supplies kit to take with you in an evacuation. The basics kit includes: water, food, first aid supplies, a change of clothing and blanket or sleeping bag, emergency tools (like flashlights, radio, batteries), and special items for infants, elderly or people with disabilities. Keep these items in an easy-to carry container-such as a covered trash container, a large backpack, or a duffle bag.Sunday, March 7* Wash windows* Make a PlanPlan where to meet after a disaster. Choose two places like right outside your home, in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire and outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate your neighborhood. Determine the best escape routes from your home and out of your community (two ways out of each location). Ask an out-of-town friend to become your “family contact.” After a disaster, it’s easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact’s number.Saturday, March 13* Deep clean rugs* Get Trained in Life-Saving SkillsTake a Red Cross course in how to save a life at a Red Cross chapter in your community. Chapters offer 90-minute training courses on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid and preparedness. Call your local Red Cross chapter for more information. To learn more, contact Sandy Acquilano at 34 Castle Street, Geneva, NY 14456 Tel. 315 789-1522 or Kathy Travis at 83 W Bayard St., Seneca Falls, NY 13148. Tel 315 568 9436Sunday, March 14* Dust all those hard to reach places* Find a Red Cross volunteer opportunity.There are many volunteer opportunities at Red Cross chapters for people of all ages. Check out our volunteer pages for more information, or sign up online. Contact Cheryl Hoggard at HoggardC@usa.redcross.orgSaturday, March 20* Polish silver and polish wood surfaces* Give Blood!Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood but only 5 percent of the eligible population gives blood every year. Healthy donors are the only source of blood. Is that you? Your donation can make the difference between life and death. Contact Mary Goodman at 34 Castle Street, Geneva, NY 14456 Tel. 315 789-1522Sunday, March 21* Turn mattresses* Practice your emergency plan.Conduct fire drills and practice evacuating your home. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassible or gridlocked. Review your plan with all family members and your family contact.Saturday, March 27* Clean inside, and underneath your appliances* Visit your local Red Cross chapterAt your local chapter, you can pick up informational brochures on emergency preparedness, find out about classes offered in your area, and discover ways to pitch in and volunteer in your community. To schedule a volunteer to speak to your organization about emergency preparedness, contact Doris Wolf at 83 W Bayard St., Seneca Falls, NY13148. Cell 315-246-7580.Sunday, March 28Rest in your clean home, knowing your are safe and secure. Write a check for a donation to American Red Cross in the Finger Lakes, to help us help others. Together, we can save a life!