- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 4, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Red Cross officials from three cities that faced terrorist attacks in recent years — New York, Madrid and London — met last week to develop common strategies for future responses.

“The common threat that brought us together is terrorism. That was our springboard,” said Jonathan Edmondson, operations manager of the British Red Cross.

He joined Carlos Paya, president of the Red Cross in Spain, and Theresa Bischoff, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Greater New York, for an international symposium Thursday and Friday on how to prepare for natural or terrorist catastrophes.

The officials identified key areas that needed to be addressed: more trained volunteers, better communication systems and increased resources stored throughout their cities. “The risky world we live in and the humanitarian work by the Red Cross gives us a sense of urgency to grow our volunteer corps to meet our future needs,” Miss Bischoff said.

Preparedness starts at home, she said. Families should create disaster plans establishing what to do to evacuate, including selecting meeting places outside their neighborhoods if they can’t return home.

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