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Red Cross Urges Everyone to Plan for Emergencies During National Preparedness Month

Contact: Diane Concannon, American Red Cross - North Jersey Region

Telephone Office: (609) 951-2116

Telephone Cell: (609) 206-4043

Diane.Concannon@redcross.org

FOR MEDIA ONLY

PRINCETON, NJ, August 30, 2012 — September is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross is encouraging all households to create a family disaster plan to make sure they are ready for the next emergency or disaster.

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.

“Disasters can strike at any time and being prepared is a family’s best defense,” said Dennis McNulty, director of Disaster Services with the American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.”

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, a template and instructions to build a plan are available at redcross.org/npm.

To encourage people to make or update a disaster plan during National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross is sponsoring a prize drawing for a new Apple iPad®. Visit www.redcross.org/prepare/nationalpreparednessmonth for details and additional preparedness information. (iPad® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion.)

“Everyone must be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors in an emergency,” McNulty said. “No one can predict where or when disasters will strike, but preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow.”

Other Ways to Get Ready

  • The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.
  • Be Red Cross Ready is an online tutorial that teaches people to be ready for emergencies.
  • Red Cross Ready Rating™ is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.
  • The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.
  • Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.
  • People can visit redcross.org for information on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.
  • 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 redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.

    About the American Red Cross North Jersey Region:

    The American Red Cross North Jersey Region provides programs and services throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren, with a combined population of 5.7 million. The region trains and mobilizes more than 6,000 volunteers who support the delivery of services in the community. Last year, the Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 479 local disasters, helping 1,296 families displaced by home fires; educated 25,732 community members about disaster preparedness; collected 25,079 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; helped 1,587 military families send emergency messages, receive financial assistance, and get counseling and referrals; and trained 138,620 individuals with life-saving skills in CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics.