September 1st starts National Preparedness Month and 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.
Plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can't go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach each other.
“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.”
All month long, American Red Cross SEPA will be hosting events and trainings to help families develop their Disaster Plan, receive preparedness tips and learn more about preparedness in the community. These events will be done in conjunction with many of SEPA’s civic, business, and government partners including Target and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.
In addition to trainings and events, American Red Cross SEPA will provide a preparedness Tip of the Day 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 vital, potentially lifesaving preparedness information. Red Cross also provides for iPhone and Android, a first aid and hurricane app with helpful preparedness information.
“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.”
Other Ways to Get Ready
The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.
• Be Red Cross Ready is an online tutorial that teaches people to be ready for emergencies.
• Red Cross Ready Rating™ is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.
• The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.
• Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.
• People can visit redcrossphilly.org for information on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.
About the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania:
The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The Red Cross is not a government agency. All Red Cross assistance is free of charge. Financial contributions are always welcomed and needed and can be made by going to RedCrossPhilly.org.