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Get Ready for National Preparedness Month

ENDICOTT, N.Y. (Aug. 28, 2014) — September is National Preparedness Month, and the American Red Cross is helping Southern Tier residents get prepared for the next emergency by  participating in a Community Preparedness Fair and Blood Drive Sept. 5, and offering free, hands-only CPR training Sept. 13.

Community Preparedness Fair, noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, at SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins and Tioga Counties, 134 Conklin Ave., Binghamton.

To recognize National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO is hosting the Community Preparedness Fair for all members of the community so they can get the information they need to be ready for the next emergency. Among the safety tips available to residents who attend the Fair:

• SERVPRO’S free Preparedness Tool for Commercial Businesses: The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile.
• American Red Cross community preparedness information.
• Car seat safety checks provided by the Broome County Health Department in partnership with the Broome County Sheriff’s office.
• The New York State Police Seat Belt Convincer, an interactive way to learn about the importance of using a seat belt.
• Healthy Neighborhood Program: A free program dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents by reducing their exposure to health and safety risks at home. Information will be provided about fire prevention, asthma triggers, and lead and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 5 at the same site as the Fair. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged. To make an appointment, call (607) 722-2262 or visit

CPR Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, Oakdale Mall, Johnson City.

The course will teach participants when and how to perform hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Participants of all ages are welcome. The instructor will be an American Red Cross-certified CPR instructor.
“CPR Saturday gives us an opportunity to celebrate National Preparedness Month by giving Southern Tier residents free training that could save a loved one’s life,” said Shelley Bierwiler, Community Executive of the American Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter. “Research has shown that continuous hands-only CPR can be effective in caring for a person with no signs of life when a rescuer is unable, untrained or unwilling to perform full CPR.”

Red Cross staff and volunteers at Oakdale Mall will also provide visitors with information on other Red Cross health-and-safety courses and how families can create a disaster plan for their households that will keep them safe during all emergencies.

A certificate will not be issued for the hands-only CPR training. The Red Cross recommends training in full CPR for people who are workplace responders; live or play around water or own a pool or hot tub; have children or work with children; or have a job-related duty to respond.

CPR Saturday – Sept. 13 at Oakdale Mall

The Red Cross of Central New York is also offering these safety tips for Preparedness Month:

MAKE A PLAN Everyone in the household should help put the emergency plan together so they know what they should do if an incident occurs. Because everyone  may not be together at home when a disaster happens, the plan should include ways to contact one another and two places to meet – one near the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent people from returning home. The plan should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service.  

Any emergency plan should also include decisions about where to go if ordered to evacuate and what route to take to get there. It’s a good idea to include alternate routes in case roads are closed. Don’t forget family pets. Make sure to include plans for them such as pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along the evacuation route.

HOME FIRES The most common threat people face across the country is a fire in their home. National Preparedness Month is a good time to develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in the household. When developing the plan, walk through the home and look at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows. List two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths. Pick a place to meet outside, a safe distance away and – no matter the circumstances – stay out of the home until fire officials say it is okay to go back inside. All households should practice their plan at least twice a year.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. They should test the alarms monthly, replace the batteries at least once a year and replace them every ten years.

RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross has developed mobile apps that provide information on what to do before, during and after emergencies, including a “Make a Plan” feature on how to develop an emergency plan. The free apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

For more information on how to prepare for all types of emergencies, visit or contact the Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter at (607) 785-7207.