With the spring storm season having already arrived, it is especially fitting that March is Red Cross Month. During March, the American Red Cross is asking everyone to help prepare both personally and professionally.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.
Here in the North Central Kansas Chapter, the Red Cross is asking that everyone be vigilant and prepare both personally and professionally for the impending storm season. Individuals and families are encouraged to have a plan and a “go bag” containing essential items, like flashlights, extra batteries and medications. The Red Cross and Emergency Management professionals encourage every business, regardless of size, to have a current Continuity of Operation Plan. An easy and free tool for businesses, schools and churches to begin that process can be found online at readyrating.org. The assessment was developed by the American Red Cross and is available to businesses, schools and organizations new to the process or to evaluate and update a plan already in place.
“Red Cross Month is a great time for businesses and organizations to support our mission,” Ekberg said. “Ask us, we’ll be happy to come out and conduct workplace trainings on preparedness. We’d also love to discuss Ready When the Time Comes, a program where the Red Cross will train a team of your employees as Red Cross disaster volunteers. These teams will be ready to deploy during a local emergency or even nationally, if they choose.”
The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping the people the Red Cross services.
For more information regarding personal preparedness, Ready Rating or Ready When the Time Comes, contact Karin Ekberg, Executive Director or Lisa Houltberg, Program Services Manager at (785) 827-3644.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.