Ridge to U.S.: Be afraid, or be ready

| 2/20/2003

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge Feb. 19 urged families to have a communication plan and create a supply kit including flashlights, duct tape, batteries and water for use in possible terror attacks as part of what the government has dubbed the Ready Campaign.

He said the government had already improved security by hiring border officers who inspected trucks for explosives and by using new container-screening technology. Ridge also said more funding would be provided to first responders such as hospital workers, firefighters and other emergency personnel.

Families can add to the government's effort if they choose "to be ready, and not afraid," Ridge said. He spoke at the American Red Cross in Cincinnati.

He said readiness details would be explained in a series of public service announcements. The ads direct Americans to call 1-800-BE-READY to get a free brochure or visit www.ready.gov, where they can learn ways to protect themselves against chemical threats, biological threats, explosions, danger from radiation and nuclear blasts.

The government is advising people to keep a full tank of fuel, three days’ worth of non-perishable food and water, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, batteries, a blanket, a first-aid kit, medicines and a manual can opener. The list also includes duct tape and pre-measured plastic sheeting for future use.