PHILADELPHIA, September 1, 2014 — September 1st starts National Preparedness Month. The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) is encouraging all households to create a family disaster plan to make sure they are ready for the next emergency or disaster.
“Disasters can strike at any time and being prepared is a family’s best defense,” said American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.”
There are three basic actions to getting prepared. The actions are simple to follow and execute and each action is equally as important. They are:
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.
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. Consider texting instead of calling as often texts go through when calls don’t.
Be informed: Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area.
All month long, American Red Cross SEPA will work with corporate, civic, and government partners like National Preparedness Month Sponsors PECO and Wells Fargo as well as governmental partners the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management and Philadelphia Fire Department. These organizations will host events that help families develop a disaster plan and provide valuable, potentially life-saving preparedness information. Wells Fargo will host several of these events at local bank branches. Major events during this month include:
Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management National Preparedness Month Kickoff Event: Tuesday, September 2nd 10:30am-2pm on the Apron of City Hall. Red Cross workers will participate in OEM's kickoff event, handing out preparedness information.
The Franklin Institute - Target's Community Night Event: Wednesday, September 17th 5-8pm at the Franklin Institute. Red Cross workers will hand out preparedness information.
Amtrak Preparedness Fair: Friday, September 19th 10am-2pm at 30th Street Station. Red Cross workers will hand out preparedness information.
Wells Fargo National Preparedness Month Event: Monday, September 29th from 9:00 am to 12 pm at Wells Fargo Philadelphia Headquarters, 123 S. Broad Street. There will be a tour of Red Cross House following this event. In addition, Wells Fargo will contribute 400 preparedness kits worth $10,500 to this event to distribute to Red Cross community partners.
Fire Safety Walk-Throughs: Carried out twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout September all over the 5-county region.
SEPA will also provide preparedness tips on Twitter and Facebook, along with short videos on You Tube. SEPA has placed ads in five regional publications, in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian) to ensure all communities get this vital information. Preparedness information can also be found on one of six Red Cross iPhone and Android apps, including its First-Aid, hurricane, and tornado apps.
“Everyone must be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors in an emergency,” Hughes said. “No one can predict where or when disasters will strike, but preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow.”
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 and redcrossphilly.org and follow us on Twitter at @RedCross and @redcrossphilly.