As the end of the year approaches, many of us look ahead and ponder about what we should change to improve our lives. People resolve to do things like lose weight, quit smoking or save money. This year the American Red Cross urges everyone to make another resolution – to make 2013 the year they get ready for when emergencies occur.
One of the things people can do is to download the free Red Cross apps to their mobile devices to put great preparedness and disaster information at their fingertips. Apps currently available include first aid and shelter finder apps, as well as apps that give real-time information on what to do before, during and after a hurricane, wildfire or earthquake. The Red Cross Apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
Getting your household ready for disaster is simple – just three steps to follow:
GET A KIT The first step is to build an emergency preparedness kit. Having things in one place and close at hand can make a difference for everyone in the household. Store your kit in an easy-to-carry container that someone can use at home or take with them in case they have to evacuate.The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home. The Red Cross Store has items available for someone’s kit, ranging from a hand-crank radio to a fully stocked deluxe emergency preparedness kit.
Your kit should include:
MAKE A PLAN Talk with members of your household about what to do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case everyone is separated, and choose two places to meet—one right outside the home, in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside the neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate. Other tips on how you should formulate your emergency plan are:
BE INFORMED Know what situations may occur where you live. For instance, if you live near the beach, know what to do in case you are faced with a tropical storm or hurricane. If you live where winters are cold, know what to do during a winter storm. Remember that emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them.
“RED CROSS READY”The Red Cross conducts different programs to help people be prepared. The “Ready When the Time Comes” program trains employees from corporations and mobilizes them as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes. “Be Red Cross Ready” is a web-based interactive training program that teaches people how to be ready for emergencies. The Ready Rating™ program and First Aid Emergency Drills help businesses, schools and other organizations better prepare for emergencies.