• Red Cross of the Dakotas Region Be Prepared for Disasters
Be Red Cross Ready
Throughout South Dakota, the American Red Cross delivers disaster services to meet basic emergency needs for shelter, food, clothing, and medical items for people forced by disasters to leave their homes. Helping people during their time of need is certainly important, but preventing, preparing for, and helping to build community resiliency in times of emergency are also vital components of the Red Cross mission.

The Red Cross helps communities prepare by providing training and education programs in health and safety, and by creating awareness about fire safety, safety in uncertain weather conditions, and how families and individuals can best prepare for emergencies. Becoming Red Cross Ready for an emergency means following our simple steps in advance to ensure you can weather a crisis safely and comfortably.

1. Get a Kit: Learn the essential supplies to put in your family’s first aid and survival kits.

2. Make a Plan: Plan effectively for you and your family in case of an emergency.

3. Be Informed: Understand which disasters are likely in your area and what you must know to stay safe.

The American Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014 which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. A critical part of the Home Fire Campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of year-round home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events held in local at-risk communities across the country. Red Cross volunteers, along with fire departments and other partners canvass high-risk neighborhoods, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and helping families create escape plans. Learn more about the Home Fire Campaign.

Preparing Our Youth

The Home Fire Campaign also features two youth-oriented programs: The Pillowcase Project and Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App.

The Pillowcase Project curriculum is structured by three core principles: Learn, Practice and Share. Through the program, the Red Cross aims to incorporate preparedness education into elementary school and after-school curriculums nationwide. Students learn about hazards, how to prepare for emergencies, enhance coping skills, practice what they have learned and share their knowledge with friends and family. The program emphasizes the importance of developing an emergency communications plan, fire evacuation plan and emergency contact cards.

Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App is a game that can help save lives. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 learn ways to stay safe in home fires, tornadoes, floods, and other disasters by role-playing as different monster characters. Go to or text MONSTER to 90999 for a direct link to download the app.

For more information regarding Red Cross community disaster education and preparedness programs, contact Summer Geraets at (605) 996-3087.