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Red Cross, Long Beach Partner to Prepare Residents

Red Cross, Long Beach Partner to Prepare Residents.

John Miller, CEO of the Long Island Red Cross, speaks about the importance of preparedness at a press conference with the City of Long Beach. Joining him was City Manager Jack Schnirman, as well as city council members and Red Cross board members.

We know all too well that preparedness saves lives and to learn that too few have taken steps is disconcerting.

At a press conference today, officials from the American Red Cross and the City of Long Beach joined together to announce plans for free preparedness training. Titled Be Red Cross Ready, the program will help residents learn how to build a disaster kit; create a family plan; and be better informed.

While the training is helpful for all emergencies, it is of course hurricane season—and Long Beach residents know all too well now that their community is particularly vulnerable.

“Superstorm Sandy was devastating and together we are rebuilding,” said Long Beach City Council President Scott J. Mandel. “Yet recovery is more than seeing homes fixed, or the return of the boardwalk, it’s about helping our residents and community to be better prepared. We thank the Red Cross for their continued support.”

While it is impossible to predict if Long Island will be impacted by a coastal storm this year, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season is forecast to be extremely active with 13-20 named storms. Just yesterday, Tropical Storm Chantal formed in the Atlantic and is heading into the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, a recent Red Cross survey shows that despite Sandy’s devastation, many coastal residents across the New York/New Jersey region have not taken the measures needed to prepare.

“We know all too well that preparedness saves lives and to learn that too few have taken steps is disconcerting,” said John Miller, CEO of the American Red Cross on Long Island. “Yet one of the things we learned from the poll was that 9-out-10 would feel safer if they had a disaster kit and a plan in place—and programs like this help accomplish that.”

Four Be Red Cross Ready sessions will take place in the Community Hall, on the 6th floor of Long Beach City Hall, at 6 p.m., July 11; July 31; Aug. 14; and Aug. 21. A presentation geared specifically for senior citizens will take place at the Senior Center, 650 Magnolia Blvd., at 11:15 a.m., Aug. 14.

Beyond the presentations, residents are encouraged to download the free Red Cross Hurricane App to their smartphones. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices through the Apple and Google stores. More information can be found online at

Be Red Cross Ready training is also available for other communities across Long Island. To learn more, contact the American Red Cross on Long Island at (516) 747-3500.

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 or visit us on Twitter at @LIRedCross.