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Central Illinois Red Cross Celebrates a Year of Readying Businesses

... we also firmly believe that the best approach to disaster is to try to prevent it altogether...

You often see members of the American Red Cross in the news: at the scene of a house fire, flood or other natural disaster. Our volunteers are always there to help people find shelter, reunite with family members and put their lives back in order. We take disaster response very seriously. But we also firmly believe that the best approach to disaster is to try to prevent it altogether – or at the very least, be appropriately prepared to respond and recover.

The American Red Cross created a free online program for schools, businesses and organizations called Ready Rating. Members complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness to reveal areas for improvement.

“They learn tips and best practices so they don’t feel like they’re alone,” said Emily Richards, Emergency Services Manager. “And most importantly, Ready Rating helps organizations to commit to improving their readiness score each year – because preparedness is a continuous process and not a one-time effort.”

Since it’s launch in September 2012, over 100 businesses in central Illinois have committed to preparedness by joining the Red Cross Ready Rating program.

During Red Cross Month, the Central Illinois Chapter would like to encourage more businesses to join this free program. To learn more and get started, interested parties should visit

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.