Get Prepared

  • Red Cross Volunteer Providing Comfort
Get the facts you need—before, during, and after a disaster or emergency situation. The American Red Cross has developed a thorough Community Disaster Education program that helps build a “culture of prevention” in our community. Our mitigation programs in the Kansas City-metro area include presentations ranging from fire safety to senior disaster preparedness. We also conduct a smoke alarm replacement/installation program.

Cause for Alarm!

The biggest disaster threat to families isn’t floods or tornadoes; it’s fire. Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire.

The Cause for Alarm! program is designed to help reduce injury, death and property loss caused by home fires by offering free smoke alarms to those in need. The program targets homeowners who cannot afford to purchase and/or install the alarms. Families who do not have a working smoke alarm --or are unsure if their smoke alarm works – can call the American Red Cross to make an appointment to have a free one installed. Trained Red Cross volunteers can install the alarms or replace batteries for residents and discuss fire safety with members of a household.

To get smoke alarms installed or batteries replaced, please call the Smoke Alarm Hotline at (816) 841-5242.

The Pillowcase Project

The Pillowcase Project is a free interactive preparedness program designed for youth ages 8 to 11 and offered by Red Cross chapters to youth in schools, after-school programs, and at other sites and events. The program aims to increase awareness and understanding of natural hazards, teach safety and emotional coping skills, as well as the importance of personal preparedness. Through instructor-led presentations, students learn the best ways to stay safe, how to handle stressful situations, and what tools they can use at home to prepare for emergencies. Students also have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their own pillowcases, which serve as containers for a personal emergency supplies kit, and are encouraged to share what they’ve learned with friends and family. The curriculum meets many of the Common Core State Standards for grades 3-5. For more information about The Pillowcase Project and how your school, after-school program or community group can participate, please contact Kathleen Wilmes at (816) 841-5286 or e-mail

Community Disaster Presentations

Red Cross presentations are available free of charge to groups, organizations and businesses. Our courses require a minimum of 10 people and typically an hour.
  • Disaster Preparedness: Learn how to set up communication and escape plans as well as how to put together a disaster supply kit.
  • Earthquake Safety: Learn earthquake basics and how to stay safe during and after an earthquake
  • Fire Safety: Learn how to set up a family fire escape plan and improve your ability to get out of a fire alive
  • Flood and Flash Flood Safety: Learn what to do in the event of a flood or flash flood watch or warning and how to set up a family disaster plan.
  • Heat Wave Safety: Learn how to treat and respond to heat-related illness, such as heat stroke and other heat-wave hazards.
  • Preparing for the Unexpected (1.5 hours): Learn what to do when disaster strikes, how to evacuate a home or office safely, how to shelter in place and understand basic care steps for an injured victim.
  • Senior Disaster Preparedness: Learn about the medical needs to consider when preparing for a disaster.
  • Thunderstorm and Lightning Safety: Learn about the different dangers of thunderstorms, their warning signals, and how to stay safe during and after a thunderstorm.
  • Tornado Safety: Learn the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning and how to set up a family disaster plan.
  • Winter Storm Safety: Learn about the hazards associated with winter weather and how to put together a family disaster supply kit.
  • Pandemic Flu (1 hour): Learn how to prevent the spread of seasonal and pandemic flu.
  • Disaster Preparedness for those with Disabilities: Participants will learn about creating a personal support network and the disaster preparedness needs to consider for people with disabilities.
To request a presentation, please contact Kathleen Wilmes at (816) 841-5286 or e-mail