It’s National Preparedness Month, and the American Red Cross Rock River Chapter is encouraging all households to create a family disaster plan to make sure they are ready for the next emergency or disaster.
Plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can’t go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan, and each person should know how to reach other family members.
“Disasters can strike at any time, and being prepared is a family’s best defense,” said Lisa Ramsby, executive director. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.”
Red Cross tools make it easier for people to make or update plans. The American Red Cross First Aid Ap for iPhone or Android smart phones helps people create a plan, share it with household members and over social networks. To encourage people to make or update a disaster plan during National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross will sponsor a prize drawing for a new iPad, onto which may be downloaded free Red Cross Preparedness Apps. ipad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion.
In addition, a Family Disaster Plan Template (in English and Spanish) may be downloaded, completed and shared with household members.
“Everyone must be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors in an emergency,” Ramsby said. “No one can predict where or when disasters will strike, but preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow.”
Other ways to get ready
The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.
• Be Red Cross Ready is an online tutorial that teaches people to be ready for emergencies.
• Red Cross Ready Rating is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readines level.
• The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.
• Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.
• People can visit redcross.org for information about what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.
From the Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2012, issue