March 2-8 marks National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. During this time, the Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross encourages individuals and families to make sure that they are prepared for the severe weather and tornadoes that often affect our communities in the spring.

Local Red Cross spokeswoman Kristen Taylor says one way you can prepare is by getting your supplies together.

"They can make an emergency preparedness kit with enough water and food, in case their power goes out," Taylor says. "A flashlight, a first aid kit, enough prescription medications, all those things that you need on a day-to-day basis."

Taylor also recommends that families make a disaster plan for how they will react when a tornado or other severe weather is expected.

"So everyone in their family, even in their workplace, knows: 'What are we going to do if this particular kind of disaster occurs? How are we going to respond just to make sure everyone stays safe?'"

Practice drills are particularly helpful for testing those plans to make sure all family members remember what to do. To get started, you can call the local Red Cross chapter at (318) 865-9545.

In addition, the Red Cross offers several free and useful apps like Tornado, Shelter Finder and First Aid. Visit the official Red Cross website for all the info.