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Red Cross Helping Businesses and Schools Prepare for Emergencies

Lady taking a Red Cross CPR class
Prepared businesses are a key component to building a resilient community

Power outages, water main breaks and medical emergencies can disrupt a business’ daily operations. Disasters have the potential to cause workplaces to fold and schools to close. Heading into hurricane season, the American Red Cross is calling for businesses, schools, and non-profits to assess their readiness level and take steps now to better prepare for emergencies. 

The American Red Cross has developed the free, web-based Ready Rating™ Program to help businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies. Ready Rating Program members complete a confidential assessment of their current readiness level for emergencies and receive immediate, customized feedback with tips and resources for them to improve their readiness scores. 

“Businesses being prepared is a key component to building a resilient community,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer for the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross. “The Ready Rating Program enables businesses and schools to access the information they need to prepare for, respond to, and successfully withstand a disaster and other emergencies." 

The Ready Rating Program has a variety of free tools available, including:

·         An Emergency Response Plan Tool, which enables program members to build a customized plan to help their employees know their roles in the first 24-72 hours of an emergency;

·         A Next Steps report that recommends specific actions members should take and the level of effort required to execute them;

·         A Resource Center that includes preparedness tools including activities and exercises, so businesses, employees and students can better develop and practice preparedness plans;

·         A Ready Rating Store with emergency supplies at the click of a button.

Companies and schools realize that contingency planning is a key element to running a successful operation. St. Louis-based Express Scripts, which provides medications to patients across the country, was ready tornadoes, thanks to its robust preparedness planning which takes advantage of the Ready Rating program. 

“We had conducted shelter-in-place drills, and everyone followed the playbook seamlessly,” said Gene Weber, the company’s director of business continuity. “While the tornadoes did not damage the company or interrupt its operations, employees and customers could feel confident that Express Scripts had a plan in place.” 

More information about this valuable program can be found at