Get prepared for the marathon

  • Eastern MA - Boston Strong 2014 - Prepare for the marathon

Going to the Marathon? Get yourself prepared

Whether you’re running the race or watching from the sidelines, being prepared is just the way to be. You’ve checked out the route and you’ve maybe even run up Heartbreak Hill. Or you’ve got the news stations preset just in case, and you’ve figured out you may need sunscreen.

But there are always things that could happen. Finding out what can happen is the first step. Once you have determined the events possible and their potential in your community, it is important that you discuss them with your family or household. Develop a disaster plan together.

1. Download the American Red Cross First Aid App

The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official American Red Cross First Aid app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. It’s spring in New England – you need to be prepared for bee stings, heat stroke and hypothermia, possibly all in the same day. But joking aside – get tips on what to do if the runner next to you has a seizure, or one of the spectators on the route is suddenly unconscious.

2. Create an emergency communications plan.

Choose an out-of-town contact your family or household will call or e-mail to check on each other should a disaster occur. Your selected contact should live far enough away that he/she would be unlikely to be directly affected by the same event, and they should know they are the chosen contact. Make sure every household member has that contact's, and each other's, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers (home, work, pager and cell). Leave these contact numbers at your children's schools, if you have children, and at your workplace. Make sure they’re with you the day of the race.

3. Establish a meeting place.

Having a predetermined meeting place away from your home – and your viewing spot -- will save time and minimize confusion should the area evacuated. You may even want to make arrangements to stay with a family member or friend in case of an emergency. Bring your dog to watch the race? Be sure to include any pets in these plans, since pets are not permitted in shelters and some hotels will not accept them.

4. Check on the school emergency plan of any school-age children you may have.

Sure Boston area schools have the day off, but not everyone does. You need to know if they will they keep children at school until a parent or designated adult can pick them up or send them home on their own. Be sure that the school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pickup. And, ask what type of authorization the school may require to release a child to someone you designate, if you are not able to pick up your child. During times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls.

Additional Positive Steps You Can Take

Another useful preparation includes learning some basic first aid in a classroom setting. To enroll in a First Aid and AED/CPR course, contact the Training Support Center at 1-800-RED-CROSS or to begin the process. In an emergency situation, you need to tend to your own well-being first and then consider first aid for others immediately around you, including possibly assisting injured people to evacuate a building if necessary.