PHILADELPHIA – As Superstorm Sandy and dozens of other disasters, including fires and floods clearly proved, disaster can strike anywhere and anyone at any time.
In 2012 Southeastern Pennsylvania had more than its fair share of disasters. A big reason, however, why those disasters were not as bad as they could have been is because our region was prepared. We must all remain vigilant, so while you’re making New Year’s resolutions, the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) urges everyone to also Resolve to be Red Cross Ready in 2013. Doing so could save your life, your family, and/or your home.
“Nothing will serve you better in the New Year than being prepared,” said American Red Cross SEPA Chief Executive Officer Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes. “Hopefully, you’ll never have a disaster, but if you do, being prepared for it will help minimize the damage and speed up your recovery.”
There are three basic actions to being Red Cross Ready. The actions are simple to follow and execute and each action is equally as important. They are:
1. Get a kit: Include a First Aid kit, blankets, extra clothing, prescription medications, glasses, infant formula, diapers, pet food, extra water for your pet, important family documents, identification, bank account records, cash, manual can opener, batteries, flashlight, duct tape, tools, hand sanitizer, activities for children, and enough food and water for at least three days. Pack everything in a waterproof, portable container, and check the expiration dates of food and prescriptions regularly.
2. Make a plan: Before an emergency happens, decide how your family members will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do. Determine a neighborhood meeting place, a regional meeting place, and an evacuation location. Also, identify an out-of-town emergency contact. In some cases, it may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town.
3. Be informed: Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area.
In addition to the three actions mentioned above, another great way to be Red Cross Ready in 2013 is to take a CPR or other lifesaving course. The American Red Cross offers a wide variety of classes. To see those choices and to sign up as well as to get more information about how to be Red Cross Ready in 2012, go to www.redcrossphilly.org.
About the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania:
The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The Red Cross is not a government agency. All Red Cross assistance is free of charge. Financial contributions are always welcomed and needed and can be made by going to RedCrossPhilly.org.