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Red Cross puts safety as close as your desk

So you've got duct tape and plastic sheeting at home, ready for any disaster. But what will you do at the office? You might consider a 'workstation safety kit' created by the Oregon Trail chapter of the American Red Cross.

The kits already have caught on with a Texas chapter, and there's talk of them being marketed nationwide. They contain items to help you if you're trapped or seeking your way out of a darkened building, including a whistle to signal for help, a glow stick, a dust mask and a pouch of water.

The kits sell for $7.50 each and come with a Velcro patch to attach them under your desk.

The Oregon Trail chapter distributed about 900 kits at its annual 'Breakfast of Champions' earlier this month. Within the next week, it sold about 7,000 kits and is assembling 10,000 more, said spokeswoman Mary Miller.

Portland's Heathman Hotel ordered a batch to offer to guests, so the local chapter is customizing the kits for travelers, too. For information, call 503-528-5653 or check www.prepareforlife.org on the Web.

Ñ Mary Bellotti