Preparedness Team Adapts Programs to Virtual Format Amid Coronavirus
TAMPA, Fla. – April 30, 2020 – The American Red Cross of Central Florida is launching a free online version of its popular emergency preparedness education program, “Be Red Cross Ready.” The program curriculum is designed to help people understand, prepare for and respond appropriately to disasters.
Previously delivered through in-person presentations in the community, Be Red Cross Ready is a national, standardized preparedness education program for adults taught by a certified presenter. The online version of the one-hour presentation will follow the same format and allow participation remotely while social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in effect.
Volunteer Linda Collis, co-presenter of the online session and youth programs lead, shares her thoughts on the importance of teaching people how to prepare. “As a trauma nurse of 40+ years, I learned quickly that anything can happen, but emergencies can be less traumatic both physically and emotionally if we are prepared for them. This program is a way to reach out to those who are ‘sheltering in’ and share our message of preparedness.”
Preparedness education is designed to build confidence in an individual’s ability to prepare, ultimately enhancing the resilience of households and communities when challenged by disaster. Within the context of a global pandemic, the Red Cross workforce has found new ways to deliver critical components of its preparedness mission.
“The pandemic has forced us to rethink how we deliver programs, and I'm so excited that we will have something shortly to offer to students too,” said Ela Landegger, co-presenter of the online session and youth preparedness leadership volunteer. “So, what can we do while we wait to emerge from this crisis? We can try to teach people to be Red Cross Ready, starting by helping others be more ready for the upcoming severe weather and hurricane season.”
Be Red Cross Ready online presentations are scheduled weekly on Microsoft Teams. All presentations will include disaster preparedness essentials, and themes for relevant local hazards like fires and hurricanes will change each week. Sessions are open to the public, and registration is not required.
* Be Red Cross Ready virtual sessions are available on Tuesdays at 12 p.m. and Thursdays at 5 p.m.
* Visit www.tinyURL.com/BRCRsessions for upcoming sessions and login information.
* Organizations can request special group sessions. Please email our preparedness team with your contact information, group name, preferred date and time.
The Central Florida Region of the American Red Cross serves 19 counties through five chapters: Florida’s Space Coast (Daytona Beach), Greater Orlando, Mid-Florida (Winter Haven), Southwest Florida (Sarasota) and Tampa Bay. For more information, visit redcross.org/centralflorida. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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