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Emergency Preparedness

Preparedness: An everyday task for everyday life
Being prepared for emergencies is crucial at home, school, work and in your community.

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood, workplace or school or can confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services – water, gas, electricity or telephones – were cut off?

Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. The best way to make you and your family safer is to be prepared before disaster strikes. We encourage you to:

  • Get a Kit
  • Make a Plan
  • Be Informed

The Red Cross can help you learn how to be prepared. Request a trained Red Cross volunteer or staff member to speak to your school, church, civic club or community group. Learn how to prepare for and cope with all types of disasters—from fires, floods and tornados to severe weather and summer heat waves. Presentations are free and can be tailored to your needs.

The American Red Cross

It’s important that you be prepared for possible disasters and other emergencies.

Click on the Banner above for a brief tutorial or continue reading below

Here are 3 Actions you should take to be prepared in emergencies.

The American Red Cross recommends that everyone get or make a disaster supply kit. Remember to check your kit and replace the stock the stock six months. Your kit should include:

  • Water
  • Nonperishable Food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery Powered
  • Radio
  • Extra Batteries
  • Tools
  • Map
  • Pet Supplies
  • Important Medications

Store your disaster supplies in sturdy yet easy-to-carry containers, in a place that is easily accessible. Keep a smaller version of the kit in your vehicle. If you become stranded or are not able to return home, having some items with you will help you be more comfortable until help arrives.

Preparing for a disaster or life threatening emergencies before they happen is vital.

  • Talk: Discuss with your family the disasters that can happen where you live. Establish responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team. Designate alternates in case someone is absent. If a family member is in the military, also plan for how you would respond if they were deployed. Include the local emergency military base resources that may be available.
  • Plan: Choose two places to meet after a disaster: One place that is outside of your home, in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire. Another place that is outside of your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate your neighborhood.
  • Learn: Each responsible adult in your household should learn how and when to turn off utilities such as electricity, water, and gas. Ask your local fire department to show you how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Tell: Inform everyone in the household where emergency supplies are kept. Make copies of the information for someone to carry with them. Keep the information updated.
  • Practice: Run practice home evacuation drills twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes in case main roads are impassable or gridlocked.
  • Include your Pets: If you must evacuate, take your animals with you. If it is not safe for you to remain in your home, it is not safe for your pets.
  • Support your Community: Volunteer in your community and give blood. More than one million people in the United States volunteer in their communities. Volunteers come from all walks of life, backgrounds, and vary in age. Red Cross volunteers help people in emergencies. They translate for non-English speakers so that everyone can receive Red Cross services, teach first aid classes and organize blood drives. They connect members of the armed forces stationed overseas with their families during major family events. People like you make these vital community services possible.

Become a Red Cross Blood Donor: Blood is needed in times of an emergency, but the ongoing need is also great. Every two seconds someone in America needs a blood transfusion. These include people such as cancer patients and accident victims. Your blood donation means so much to the individuals who need it, and you can help make a lifesaving difference by giving blood.

During times of crisis and every day, each blood donation has the potential to help save as many as three lives. Whole blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, so it is important to be a regular and frequent donor. It is important to have an adequate blood supply available at all times. You can support your community blood supply by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visiting www.givelife.org and making an appointment to donate blood today! Click here for more information.

Know what types of disasters
are likely to occur in your area.


Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur where you live, work and play. These events can vary 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.

Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get important information, whether through local radio, TV, or National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio stations or channels.

Learn what you can do to prepare for disasters by contacting your local American Red Cross to ask about first aid and CPR. Learning simple first aid techniques can give you the skills and confidence to help when someone in your home, your neighborhood or workplace is injured. When a major disaster occurs, your community can change in an instant. Loved ones can be hurt, and emergency response can be delayed. Make sure that at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR and in how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Disaster preparedness presentations can provide more specific information on how to prepare for disasters in your community.

Share what you have learned with your family, household and neighbors and encourage them to be informed as well.

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