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Red Cross Promotes Preparedness at Health and Fitness Expo

Red Cross - New Jersey - Health & Fitness Expo 2015
Knowing what disasters are most likely to occur where you live, building an emergency kit and having a family disaster plan can make a difference should disaster strike.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross North Jersey Region helped families become better prepared for home fires and other disasters during the Third Annual NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 Health & Fitness Expo at MetLife Stadium on June 27 and 28.


During the expo, volunteers were at preparedness booths and out in the crowds reaching thousands of people with Red Cross fire safety and disaster preparedness information. Volunteers educated families on how to build an emergency kit, create a family disaster plan and demonstrated how the free Red Cross Emergency App can help their family know what to do before, during and after a disaster.

“Disaster can strike suddenly and often without warning,” said Paul Gass, regional preparedness manager, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “Knowing what disasters are most likely to occur where you live, building an emergency kit and having a family disaster plan can make a difference should disaster strike.”

In addition to helping families prepare for large-scale disasters, such as hurricanes, flooding or tornadoes, volunteers also helped families learn how to prepare for and take important steps to prevent home fires. Samantha and Brian of Perth Amboy were among the many families that visited the Red Cross preparedness booth where they learned about fire safety and how to create a family fire escape plan for themselves and their two daughters, five-year-old Sadaiah and three-year-old Ariyannie.

“If a fire starts, you may have as little as two minutes to escape your burning home,” said Gass. “All members of your household should know two ways to exit each room in your home and where to meet once outside. It’s important to practice your fire escape plan regularly.”

The family toured the first-of-its-kind Red Cross Next Generation Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) where they learned how the Red Cross helps families affected by disasters large and small. They saw how the vehicle’s modular features allow the Next Generation ERV to quickly transform so that disaster responders can serve thousands of meals a day after a large-scale disaster or meet with displaced families one-on-one following a home fire.

A volunteer Health and Safety instructor was on hand demonstrating how hands-only CPR can increase the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings. Hands-only CPR is a potentially lifesaving technique involving no mouth-to-mouth contact. It is best used in emergencies where someone has seen another person suddenly collapse.

Red Cross Service to Armed Forces volunteers provided an opportunity for expo attendees to write a note of thanks to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans. Many children stopped by the booth to draw pictures for the troops.

GET PREPARED The Red Cross wants everyone to be prepared for potential disasters and other emergencies. These events can strike suddenly, anywhere and at any time. Taking steps now can help make a difference during a disaster or other emergency. For information on how you can prepare you and your family for disasters visit

Download the Free Red Cross Mobile Apps. The Red Cross suite of free mobile apps puts expert first aid and disaster preparedness information in the palm of your hand, including what to do before, during and after disasters. The apps are available in English and Spanish for iPhone and Android devices. See all the Red Cross Mobile Apps and their features at

Sign up for a Red Cross First Aid, CPR/AED Course. Learn lifesaving skills by taking a Red Cross course. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, the CPR/AED course teaches how to properly administer CPR and utilize an automated external defibrillator (AED) to provide immediate care during a cardiac or breathing emergency until medical personnel arrive. Learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies including cuts; burns; head, neck and spinal injuries; and more during the First Aid course. Find a course near you.