“It’s time to get ready now, before a storm threatens,” said Joanne Nowlin, chief executive officer for the American Red Cross South Florida Region. The organization is offering the following tips:
- Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store at redcrossstore.org.
- Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Be informed. Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. Take a First Aid and CPR/AED course (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you know what to do in case emergency help is delayed.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. The app can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross, texting ‘EMERGENCY’ to 90999, or by going to redcross.org/apps.
If someone already has a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If they already have an emergency plan for their household, they should talk about it again with family members, so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
The Red Cross Ready Rating program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations.
Ready Rating offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans.
More information about the program can be found at readyrating.org.