CHARLESTON, S.C. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 – It is Earthquake Week in South Carolina and Red Cross urges everyone to update their family evacuation plan, emergency preparedness kit, and get better prepared for earthquakes and other emergencies.
“Earthquakes are sudden and can strike without warning, and we want everyone to become Red Cross Ready for earthquakes,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Palmetto SC Region.
By taking three basic preparedness actions you can become Red Cross Ready for earthquakes and other emergencies. The steps are 1) Get a kit, 2) Make a plan and 3) Be informed.
The official free American Red Cross Earthquake App for iPhone and Android mobile devices is also available for download Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or at redcross.org/mobileapps. The app gives users instant access to local and real-time information in order to help them make crucial decisions.
Red Cross is here to help you get prepared for specific disasters like earthquakes. Even if you already have a household disaster plan, it’s important that you revisit and update your communication plan and check your emergency preparedness kit for expired items.
The American Red Cross recommends the following preparedness actions:
Get or assemble an emergency preparedness kit:
A portable kit, stored in a sturdy, easy to carry, water resistant container should have enough supplies for three days. Check your kit and replace perishable stock every six months. Whether you purchase a kit or choose to build your own, your three-day kit should include:
• First aid kit and essential medications.
Canned food and can opener.
• At least three gallons of water per person.
• Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
• Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
• Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
• Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
• Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.
Prepare a home earthquake plan:
The American Red Cross urges each and every household to develop a household disaster plan.
• Choose a safe place in every room— under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
• Practice drop, cover and hold on at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. Teach children to drop, cover, and hold on!
• Choose an out-of-town family contact.
• Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.
• Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Keep your training current.
• Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.
• Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
• Find out how local authorities will contact you during a disaster. Listen to local media broadcasts.
• Contact your local chapter for details about community disaster education presentations that may be arranged or are available in your workplace, school or community organization.
• Get trained in CPR and first aid so you will know how to respond to emergencies in the event that help is delayed.
For more about earthquake preparedness visit: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake
On average the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region responds to a disaster every 6 & 1/2 hours. Since January 1, 2013, the Palmetto SC Region has responded to the needs of more than 1,200 families and 3,900 individuals affected by disaster. The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross Chapters that span 35-counties of South Carolina.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit Redcross.org.