Events Planned for National Preparedness Month

It's National Preparedness Month, be "Red Cross Ready" the next time a disaster strikes.

ALBANY, NY (Friday, September 6, 2013) The American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region knows a disaster can strike at any moment. During National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross encourages all households to be “Red Cross Ready” when the time comes.

“Having a game plan in place is essential for all households so everyone knows what they should do when an emergency occurs,” said Gary Striar, American Red Cross Northeastern New York Regional Chief Executive Officer. “National Preparedness Month is a perfect time for residents in our area to create or update their plan.”

In the spirit of National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region is attending several events to help the community stay safe and become better prepared:

New Jerusalem Community Block Party, September 14th from 11-3pm, 160 Sheridan Avenue, Albany: The Preparedness team will be at the Block Party to give attendees preparedness tips and learn more about preparedness in the community. “Scrubby Bear” will also be part of the day which teaches children how to properly wash their hands through a song, a story, and a “see your germs” demonstration.

Global Foundries Health and Wellness Fair, September 24th and 26th from 4-7pm, Global Foundries, Malta: The Preparedness team will educate attendees by having personal conversations about preparedness in the community, how to create a Family Disaster Plan and preparedness tips.

Arlington Street Fair, September 21st from 12-6pm, Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie:

The Preparedness team will be in the town of Poughkeepsie for its annual fair. The community will have the chance to learn hands only CPR and “Be Red Cross Ready.” By attending this public event, the Preparedness team will be able to interact with and train community members.

“Project Help” Ice Cream Social, September 10th from 7-8:30pm, SUNY Plattsburgh, Angell College Center: Students from SUNY Plattsburgh looking for volunteer opportunities and work experience will meet for an Ice Cream Social. The Preparedness team will be available for more information and opportunities on what they can do in the community through the Red Cross.

As part of National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross is also urging residents to follow these simple steps so they’re ready for the next emergency or disaster:

MAKE A PLAN It is important that everyone in the household helps put the emergency plan together and knows what they should do if something occurs. Household members may not be together when a disaster happens – during the day many people are at work and school. 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 people from returning home. People should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service.

Any emergency plan should also include decisions about where family members will go if ordered to evacuate and what route they will take to get there. It’s a good idea to include alternate routes in case roads are closed. If pets are part of the household, make sure to include plans for them such as pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along the evacuation route.

RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross has free mobile apps that provide information on what to do before, during and after emergencies including developing an emergency plan. “People can use the ‘Make a Plan’ feature in the apps to create their plan and then share it with their loved ones,” Striar said. “The preloaded content in the apps gives people access to vital information to use during emergencies, even if they can’t connect to the internet.” The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

OTHER WAYS TO GET READY Another step to get one’s household ready is to build an emergency kit in a container that is easy to carry so the family can use it at home or take it with them if asked to evacuate. It should contain a three-day supply of water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents. The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks’ worth of emergency supplies at home.

Everyone also needs to stay informed about what types of disasters are most likely to occur where they live or where they plan to visit. It is also important to take a First Aid and CPR/AED course—a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.

For more information on how to prepare for emergencies, people can visit redcross.org/neny or contact the Northeastern New York Chapter at (518) 458-8111.

Another way people can help ensure their community is ready for a disaster is to give blood. When an emergency occurs, it is the blood already on the shelves that is available to help patients who need it. Thousands of blood donations are needed every day for patients who need blood to help in their battle back to health. If someone would like to give blood, they must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent. To schedule a donation time or to get more information about giving blood, people can go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.