The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation kicked off National Public Health Week with the American Red Cross on April 7, 2014. Red Cross volunteers visited the Foundation to inform their employees about disaster preparedness and to showcase the tools available to help them be better prepared for emergencies.
Red Crossers manned tables with preparedness information and talked with employees about how they can keep themselves, their families and their pets safe in the event of an emergency. Volunteers discussed the importance of having an emergency preparedness kit and a family disaster plan.
Volunteers helped employees become more informed about the types of emergencies that may occur in their homes as well as in their community and the steps they can take to prepare. Employees were encouraged to share what they learned about preparedness with their friends, family and neighbors.
Employees heard from disaster volunteers about how the Red Cross helps communities like theirs every day after disasters. Volunteers explained that at a moment’s notice, Red Cross Disaster Action Team members are ready to respond to home fires and other local disasters to provide comfort and emergency assistance to the affected families.
Outside the main entrance, employees toured the prototype for the Next Generation Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) that disaster volunteers use to provide food, water and comfort following disasters, including home fires. The new ERVs will have reduced maintenance costs, have a longer life span and be more fuel efficient. The new design is more ergonomic for workers, easier to drive, provides ample storage room for supplies and meals, and is adjustable to the needs of disasters large and small.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Jeff Meade highlighted the day on their Culture of Health Blog.
The Red Cross is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in America's PrepareAthon! This campaign aims to teach people what to do to prepare for spring and summer disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. The Red Cross urges all individuals, households and organizations to register on America’s PrepareAthon! website for access to great tools and updates on how to get ready for emergency situations that may occur in their communities.
Follow the good advice Red Cross of Central New Jersey board member Sean Andersen shared on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation blog:
Develop a Family Disaster Plan. Every household should have a family disaster plan in place. Household members may not be together when a disaster happens. The plan should include ways to contact one another and two predetermined places to meet – one near the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent you from returning home.
Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit. Whether you purchase a kit or build your own it’s important to have emergency supplies on hand in the event of an emergency. Supplies should be stored in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that can be stored at home or taken with you in case you need to evacuate.
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 for iPhone and Android devices. See the unique features of each of the apps!
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.
Plan Ahead for Your Pets. Pets are part of the family too and planning ahead for pets can help save their life. In the event of a disaster, if it’s not safe for people then it’s not safe for pets. During an evacuation pets should also be evacuated. Households with pets should include them in their family disaster plan.
The Red Cross is here to make sure you are as prepared as you possibly can be for potential disasters and other emergencies. These events can strike suddenly, at anytime and anywhere. Take action steps now that can help make a difference.