TOPEKA, Kan. — It’s National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross, Kansas Capital Area Chapter, 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 other family members.
“Disasters can strike at any time and being prepared is a family’s best defense,” said Meghan Spreer, Communications Director for the Kansas Capital Area Chapter. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.”
Red Cross tools make it easier for people to make or update plans. The American Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone or Android smart phones helps people create a plan, share it with household members and over social networks. In addition, a template to build a plan is available on the Red Cross web site.
“Everyone must be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors in an emergency,” Spreer 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 redcross.org for information on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.