Get Ready to Celebrate National Preparedness Month this September with Helpful Tips from the Red Cross
The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties is the most trusted community service organization in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies. With the public’s ongoing support, the organization provides lifesaving preparedness training, disaster relief services, services to deployed military personnel and their families and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
Through Prepare San Diego (preparesandiego.org), a four-year regional resiliency initiative, the Red Cross brings together key community and business leaders from the region to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery plans and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster, meeting all aspects of the disaster lifecycle.
According to a study by the Red Cross, only seven percent of households in San Diego are currently prepared for disasters. September is right around the corner and it is National Preparedness Month. Disasters can strike suddenly, but preparing for them is as easy as 1, 2, 3: Get a Kit, Make a Plan and Be Informed.
1. Be sure to have an Emergency Preparedness Kit that includes a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water, flashlight and radio with extra batteries (or hand crank versions of these items), first aid kit and medications, copies of important documents and extra cash.
2. Make a Plan for what to do if there is an emergency. Sit down with the members of the household and plan on what to do if everyone is separated. Choose two places to meet – one outside the home and another outside the neighborhood – and choose an out-of-the-area emergency contact person. Have furry friends? Plan ahead for your pets by having arrangements for them, as well as a list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters along your evacuation routes. Last, but not least, practice evacuating your home twice a year.
3. Be Informed. Know what situations may occur where you live and remember that emergencies, like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them. The Red Cross encourages households to learn life-saving first aid and CPR/AED. Finally, families can download the suite of Red Cross disaster apps, which have safety information for hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes. These apps put lifesaving tips at your fingertips, with pre-loaded content that can be accessed without connectivity, which is often the case during a disaster.
Other Ways to Get Involved With the Red Cross
Get Trained: The Red Cross offers hundreds of classes throughout the year in CPR/First Aid, Pet First Aid, Babysitter Training and more. Visit www.redcross.org/takeaclass to sign up and get trained.
Volunteer: The Red Cross offers something for everyone when it comes to volunteering. From becoming a disaster responder to helping service members and their families through the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces (SAF), there are countless ways to help. Visit www.redcross.org/volunteer for more details and join the 2,000 other Red Crossers in San Diego and Imperial Counties!
Give Blood: Just one blood donation can save up to three lives, and donations are always needed. Give the gift of life and make an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org or (800) RED-CROSS.
Donate Funds: The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the public and key community partners, like Southwest Airlines, to perform its mission. Consider making a financial donation in the community today.
For more information or to donate to the local Red Cross, please visit www.redcross.org/sandiego.