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New American Red Cross Online Tools Help Businesses and Schools Prepare for Emergencies

The American Red Cross today launched a new collection of free, online tools to help businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies.

These enhancements to the Red Cross Ready Rating™ program offer specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared.

The new features include:

  • 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;
  • An enhanced user experience that enables easier sign up and access to all tools available.
  • View the graphic in PDF

    “Companies and schools realize that contingency planning is a key element to running a successful operation, but getting started can sometimes be intimidating and overwhelming,” said Jim Judge, CEM, member of the Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and executive director of Lake EMS, Inc. in Mount Dora, Florida. “The new Ready Rating program components make it even easier to get started or to enhance current emergency response plans.”

    Emergencies like power outages, water main breaks and medical emergencies can disrupt daily operations. Disasters like tornados, floods, earthquakes and fires have the potential to cause workplaces to fold and schools to close. In an effort to better prepare for such events, Ready Rating 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.

    St. Louis-based Express Scripts, which provides medications to patients across the country, was ready for last year’s 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 than 1,300 businesses and organizations and nearly 450 schools are already Ready Rating members. Members have increased their assessment scores – some by as much as 42 percent. 93 percent of members rate the service as good to excellent.

    The Ready Rating program is consistent with Private Sector or PS-Prep Standards developed by the Department of Homeland Security. Anheuser-Busch Companies is the program’s national founding sponsor and Sam’s Club is a national sponsor.

    More information about this valuable program and the new components can be found at readyrating.org