September 25, 2019, Atlanta — Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime—even in someone’s own home. As National Preparedness Month (September) winds down and temperatures begin to drop, the Red Cross of Georgia is urging everyone to download the Red Cross Emergency App to Stay Informed for various types of emergencies and disasters and to follow important safety steps to stay safer at home, this fall.
STAY INFORMED, STAY SAFE
Learn the types of disasters or emergencies that may likely occur in your area. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood. You can find Red Cross safety information for all kinds of disasters here.
· Download the Red Cross Emergency App here to access lifesaving safety tips for various types of emergencies and disasters, locate open Red Cross shelters, monitor more than 35 severe weather and emergency alerts, and more—right from your very own phone!
· Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get information, whether through local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels.
· Know the difference between different weather alerts such as watches and warnings and what actions to take in each.
· When a major disaster occurs, your community can change in an instant. Loved ones may be hurt and emergency response is likely to be delayed. Make sure everyone is trained in first aid and CPR and knows how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). This training also covers controlling bleeding, burns, first aid for choking and other emergency situations. You can register to take this training here.
FALL WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
On average, the Red Cross of Georgia responds to help after around 2,700 home fires – every year. Here are some important safety tips to remember – especially as the temperatures begin to plummet and Georgians take necessary actions to keep their homes warm.
KITCHEN FIRES ARE THE MOST COMMON: Most home fires start in the kitchen during cooking — usually on stovetops — not in the oven. Be sure to stay in the kitchen when cooking, frying, or grilling on your stove top.
· Check for curtains, towel racks or even paper towel dispensers sitting too close to the burners.
· If your microwave isn’t built in, make sure it’s clear of surrounding clutter and its vents aren’t obstructed.
· If you don’t already have one, buy a fire extinguisher to keep within easy reach should something ignite while you’re cooking.
· Remember, don’t toss water on a grease fire if you’re caught without an extinguisher. If a fire starts in a pan — and many do — put a lid on it to suffocate the flames.
STAY SAFE WHILE KEEPING WARM: Heating equipment, like space heaters, are involved in one of every six home fires. Furthermore, one in every five home fire deaths and half of all fires caused by home heating occur during colder weather months.
· Make sure to always keep anything that gives off heat at least 3 feet away from flammable materials or items.
· Never plug more than one heating appliance into an outlet.
· Keep portable gas generators outside and away from windows to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
· If you have a fireplace, make sure your chimney is checked and cleaned by a professional once a year. Use a metal or glass screen that is large enough to prevent escaping embers.
· Never leave fires (or candles) burning, or heating appliances plugged in, while asleep, in another room, or when you leave your home
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.