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American Red Cross Urges Everyone to Get Ready for Emergencies

Northeast, PA, September 2, 2014 — Disasters can strike at any time, and the American Red Cross, NEPA Region, encourages everyone to take the first step during National Preparedness Month and join America’s PrepareAthon, creating a disaster plan for their household that can help keep people safe in an emergency.

“Having an emergency plan is an important step so everyone in the household knows what they should do if something happens,” said Peter M. Brown, Regional CEO. “We believe people should mark National Preparedness Month by creating or updating their plan.”

This month, the NEPA Region will be instructing communities throughout the region on how to be prepared for any emergency. You’ll find the Red Cross in senior centers teaching folks how to make a kit and get informed. We are available for elementary schools to teach students how to be prepared and stay calm through The Pillowcase Presentation. Our chapters have also been invited by private businesses, churches and organizations to train employees and personnel on preparedness tips and plans. Those events are taking place in Wyomissing, Reading, Scranton, Hazelton, and Bethlehem. Of course, our dedicated volunteers will also hold public presentations in many communities, including:

September 13, 2014, 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.

Lowe’s Home Improvement Annual Emergency Expo

2650 MacArthur Road, Whitehall, PA

September 15, 2014, 10 A.M. to 11 A.M.

Montour Senior Center UGI/American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Workshop

500 West Mahoning Street

Danville, PA 17821

September 20, 2014, 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.

St. Luke’s West End Medical Center Emergency Preparedness Day

501 Centronia Road, Allentown, PA

September 22, 2014, 2 P.M. to 3 P.M.

West Pittson Library UGI /American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Workshop

200 Exeter Avenue, Pittston, PA

September 23, 2014, 6:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.

Mifflin Community Library Emergency Preparedness Workshop

6 Philadelphia Avenue, Shillington, PA

September 26, 2014, 2 P.M. to 3 P.M.

Lehigh Valley Active Life UGI/American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Workshop

1633 Elm Street, Allentown, PA

September 30, 2014, 11 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Special Kids Network Emergency Preparedness Workshop

Monroe County Safety Center, 100 Gypsum Road, Stroudsburg, PA

MAKE A PLAN Everyone in the household should help put the emergency plan together so they know what they should do if something 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, people can visit or contact Gail Toscano, Direct Services Support Manager, (570)476-3896,

About the American Red Cross:

You can help people affected by disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS, (1-800-733-2767). Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross, Northeast Pennsylvania Region, 964 Marcon Blvd. Suite 220, Allenton, PA 18109 or your local Red Cross chapters.

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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.