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Hurricane Isaac continues to hammer communities along the Gulf Coast as September, National Preparedness Month, begins.
Currently, the Red Cross is responding across multiple states to the hurricane, which has temporarily displaced thousands from their homes and caused widespread power outages and flooding. Almost a dozen people from the local Red Cross region have deployed to assist in the response.
As we watch this disaster unfold, the Red Cross is encouraging all households across the country to create a family disaster plan to make sure they are ready for the next emergency.
“There are times, like with hurricanes, when we can see a disaster coming,” said Angela A. Broome, CEO of the Carolina Piedmont Region of the American Red Cross. “Unfortunately, we don’t always get a warning sign, which is why it is essential that we put our personal plans in place now. Being prepared is a family’s best defense.”
Plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can't go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach other family members.
Red Cross tools make it easier for people to make or update plans. The American Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone or Android smart phones helps people create a plan, share it with household members and over social networks. In addition, instructions and a template to build a plan are available on the Red Cross website.
Individuals can help their community prepare by donating blood. It’s the blood that is already on the shelves that helps during a disaster. In addition to disaster-related blood needs, the Red Cross must collect enough blood each and every day to help accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders and others
Eligible blood donors are asked to make a commitment to donate regularly and to schedule an appointment to give by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org