National Preparedness Month is a good time to get ready for emergencies and the American Red Cross asks everyone to make their disaster plans now to ensure their household is ready when emergencies happen.
The overall theme of National Preparedness Month this year is “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.” The campaign also features a weekly disaster focus and the spotlight this week is on floods. The Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe if flooding impacts their community.
FLOOD SAFETY Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturate the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.
If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Other safety steps include:
Even businesses aren’t immune to flood hazards. Studies show that between 15 percent to 40 percent of businesses fail following a natural or man-made disaster. The Red Cross Ready Rating program can help you avoid that potential by helping your small business or organization measure how ready it is to deal with emergencies. The program then gives customized feedback on how to improve preparedness efforts. Get more information during a free webinar put on by SCORE Association and the Red Cross September 10 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Some of the many features of the app include:
“Family Safe” is another unique feature that allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay, even if that person hasn’t downloaded the Emergency App. Using “Family Safe,” the user can send someone a message and their response of either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe” will come to the user. If they are not safe, the user can call them or see their location on a map. The app also has an “I’m Safe” button which allows users to let loved ones know they are out of harm’s way.