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Participate in National Preparedness Month

Red Cross urges families to participate in National Preparedness Month

Resources and tools available to help families plan for disasters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 15, 2015 — September is National Preparedness Month and the Red Cross is here to make preparing for emergencies simple. The Red Cross advises families and individuals to take time this month is to make a plan, practice your plan, and be ready to help your family and neighbors.

“Preparedness is an ‘all of us’ activity, not just something for emergency preparedness professionals. There are simple things families can do now to prevent emergencies and make their lives better in the aftermath of a disaster,” said Russ Paulsen, Executive Director, Community Preparedness and Resilience Services. “Being prepared for emergencies is not just a month-long process but a continual one.”

Make a Plan, Practice Your Plan, Be Ready to Help Your Family and Neighbors

Every individual should put together an emergency preparedness kit that contains food, water and other basic supplies to last at least three days. Each kit also needs to include essential medicines, copies of important documents and special items for children and pets.

Families should plan how to stay safe and communicate during disasters and decide what to do if they are separated or need to evacuate. Coordinate plans with work and school, and know local community emergency plans. Understand and be informed on the disasters that affect the local area and how to access guidance and information during an emergency. An interactive, online tutorial is available to help prepare kits and plans at redcross.org/beredcrossready.

The Red Cross has a variety of free tools available at redcross.org/apps to help families prepare for emergencies. The Red Cross Emergency App provides easily accessible lifesaving preparedness information before and during emergencies. The Monster Guard App makes learning how to prevent emergencies and stay safe fun for children through an interactive game.

For businesses, schools and organizations, the Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program (readyrating.org) is a web-based program that provides immediate, customized feedback with resources to improve preparedness. First Aid Emergency Drills also help businesses train their staff for emergencies and disasters.

Home Fires: Stay Safe

The Red Cross responds to a home fire every 8 minutes as they are one of the most common emergencies families across the country face every day. But unlike other disasters, home fires can often be prevented. Home fires can happen quickly, and experts estimate that families may only have two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.

To stay safe, check existing smoke alarms and make sure to install one on every floor, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Practice fire drills at home several times a year to reduce evacuation time to less than two minutes and pick a place to meet outside. Fire escape plans should include two ways to get out of every room; consider escape ladders for bedrooms and homes on the second floor or above.

Every year, the Red Cross spends an average of $370 million helping people and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from nearly 70,000 disasters across the country and around the world. Help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation towards disaster relief.

Contact: Red Cross Public Affairs, Phone: (202) 303-5551, media@redcross.org, FOR MEDIA ONLY

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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.