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Southeastern Pennsylvania Red Cross Wants You to Be Prepared

Contact: Dave Schrader

Phone: (215) 299-4042

PHILADELPHIA, August 29, 2013 — September 1st starts National Preparedness Month. Superstorm Sandy showed just how devastating and unpredictable storms can be, so the American Red Cross 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 Red Cross SEPA CEO 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 Target, PECO, and Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management to host events that help families develop a disaster plan and provide valuable, potentially life-saving preparedness information. Major events during this month include:

    Spanish Be Red Cross Ready: Every Monday at the Mexican Consulate.

    Fire Safety Walk-Throughs: Fire safety bags are distributed to different neighborhoods throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout September.

    Red Cross Club Meetings: Every Monday-Thursday throughout September.

    Spanish Reaching Elders & Seniors with Preparedness Education Concepts and Tools (R.E.S.P.E.C.T.) Events: Every Tuesday throughout September located at the Norris Square Senior Center.

    Red Cross National Preparedness Event: Monday, September 16th from 8:30 am to 11:00 am located at Target in Bensalem, PA.

    Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management Preparedness Fair: Wednesday, September 18th at the Franklin Institute at 5 pm.

    Financial Planning Workshop: Thursday, September 19th at Red Cross House.

    Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s Preparedness Fair at Amtrak: Friday, September 20th at 10am located at 30th St. Station in Philadelphia, PA.

    Day of Caring with the Independence Blue Cross: Wednesday, September 25th at the SEPA Chapter.

    American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management National Preparedness Event: Wednesday, September 25th from 10: 00 am to 12 pm located at Easter Seals in Philadelphia, PA.

    Red Cross House Workshops: These include Home Owners Workshop, Nutritional Workshop, and a Fire Safety workshop. These events are offered to clients currently staying at the Red Cross House.

    Red Cross 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 and and follow us on Twitter at @RedCross and @redcrossphilly.