Red Cross Urges Everyone to Plan for Emergencies during National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and our local American Red Cross 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 Lisa Stanchfield, Community Preparedness Coordinator. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency as no one can predict where or when disasters will strike. However, we know preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow.”

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.

The Red Cross will be participating in a number of community disaster education projects including:

  • Daily, through-out September, we will post special safety & preparedness tips on social media
  • Fondue Fest, Downtown Fond du Lac, Saturday, September 8th 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
  • Town of Menasha Safety Days at the Fire Department, 1326 Coldspring Rd, Saturday, Sept. 8th, 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.

Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference

Our Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is hosting the Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference October 18-21, 2012 at the Gruehagen Conference Center on the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh Campus. Courses will span several lines of Red Cross services during times of disasters. Two ‘Preparedness Education Leader’s Workshop’ which will provide tools and education to build preparedness skills in your community are on October 18th & 19th. Both long-time Red Cross volunteers and those looking to become involved in either community education, local disaster responses or larger disaster responses such as hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes are invited. Conference details and registration information are available at redcross.org/newisconsin.

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.

About the Northeast WI Chapter:

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit http://www.redcross.org/newisconsin. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org

Red Cross and Grainger Announce Expansion of ‘Ready When the Time Comes’ Program

Disaster volunteer training program expands to more than 50 chapters, reaches milestones

Washington, DC – September 23, 2010 – The American Red Cross and W.W. Grainger, Inc. today announced the continued expansion of the Ready When the Time Comes program with an additional 10 chapters set to join the program in 2011. The addition of these chapters will bring the total participating Red Cross chapters to 51 in disaster-prone areas across the country.

This announcement comes during National Preparedness Month, designated each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. 

The Ready When the Time Comes program, a workplace volunteer initiative in which the American Red Cross trains employees of local businesses who can be mobilized as a community-based volunteer force when disasters strike, was developed in 2001 as a partnership between the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and Grainger, the national founding sponsor of the program. Today, more than 11,000 employees representing 450 businesses and organizations in 41 communities across the country have been trained as disaster volunteers through the program. In 2010 alone, ten chapters will have launched the program including Red Cross chapters in Los Angeles and Boston which are holding kickoff events during the next several weeks.

The Northeast Wisconsin Region is proud to have US Bank and Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance as "Ready When the Time Comes" Partners. July 15: Pat Schaeve, employee of US Bank, "Ready When the Time Comes" volunteer doing damage assesment door-to-door in Neenah, WI.

Ready When the Time Comes is a program that turns compassion into action by training employees of businesses nationwide to volunteer when disasters strike close to home,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “We are gratified that Grainger and many other businesses are supporting the training and that so many of their employees have stepped forward to help provide comfort and care to their neighbors in need.”

“We believe the greatest resource the business community can contribute to disaster relief is its employees. Grainger has partnered with the American Red Cross to encourage other companies across the U.S. to support disaster preparedness through the Ready When the Time Comes program,” said Jim Ryan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Grainger. “Every day volunteers trained through this program are helping their local chapters respond to disasters. They truly exemplify the “People Power” that is at the foundation of any disaster response. Communities are supported by their helping hands in a crisis and the volunteers themselves are strengthened by supporting their communities.”

The new chapters that will join the program in 2011include the Red Cross King and Kitsap Counties, Seattle, WA; Hawaii State Chapter, Honolulu, HI; Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Red Cross of Central Oklahoma Chapter, Oklahoma City, OK; Red Cross of Central Florida Chapter, Orlando, FL; Sacramento Sierra Chapter, Sacramento, CA; Connecticut Chapter, Farmington, CT; Southwest PA Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA; and

Red Cross of Greater Arkansas, Little Rock, AR. The tenth Red Cross chapter will be announced in the near future.

 About Grainger
W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2009 sales of $6.2 billion is North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

September 2010 is National Preparedness Month; Red Cross Urges People to Get Prepared

Many people in this country have experienced a significant crisis in their home or neighborhood, but less than half of the people surveyed by the American Red Cross have taken steps to be prepared for emergencies.

September 2010 is National Preparedness Month, a time set aside for the last seven years to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.  The Red Cross urges everyone to take steps now to be ready when emergencies happen. 

In a survey conducted late last summer, the Red Cross found that although 89 percent of those surveyed believe being prepared is important, far fewer people are ready for when that happens.  Twenty percent of those surveyed have not done anything to get prepared, and aren’t sure where to get started.

“Being prepared today can save lives tomorrow,” said Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive.  “You are your best defense against emergencies.  The Red Cross can show you what simple steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your loved ones for emergencies.”

There are three things people should do to be prepared – build an emergency preparedness kit, make a plan as to what your family will do in an emergency, and be informed about what resources are available in your community and what types of disasters could occur there.

Your emergency preparedness kit should contain enough supplies for three days in case you need to evacuate.  The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home. Supplies should include water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents.

Your emergency plan should be a joint effort, including the members of your household.  Make sure each person knows how to reach household members, including an out-of-area emergency contact person, and knows where to meet if they can’t go home.

Being informed is important.  Learn about what resources are available and what types of disasters are most likely to occur where you live, learn, work and play. Take a first aid and CPR/AED course—a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.

 You can also give blood to help keep your community prepared.  It is the blood already donated and available on hospital shelves that is available in an emergency.  To give blood, you must be healthy, be at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds.  Some states allow 16-year-olds to donate with parental consent.  If you have given blood before, it must be 56 days since your last donation.  For more information on giving blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org.   

All Red Cross Chapters are urging area residents to make a renewed effort in September to prepare for emergencies such as fires, floods or storms.  The Red Cross has created a free online education program to make it easier for people to get prepared. The Be Red Cross Ready program walks people through three key preparedness steps: getting an emergency kit, making an emergency plan and being informed.

 A few of the specific programs happening throughout the Region include:

* Disaster Action Team volunteer, Joyce Keyes continues work on the Disaster Advisory Council.  The Fond du Lac area is one of Chapters nationwide piloting a Jumpstart to Recovery Kit and “Moving Forward After a Disaster” booklets.  She is from one of the 15 Chapters whose representatives were selected from around the nation to serve on committee to review prevention, preparedness and response policies and procedures.  Within the past month, a Director from our National Headquarters was in Fond du Lac to the training required for this project. 

* On Saturday, September 11th, the Scenic Shores Chapter partners with the Two Rivers Fire Department and Point Beach Nuclear Plan (Next Era Energy) to train Boy Scouts from cities throughout the Region for their “Emergency Preparedness” Badge. The plant also sponsors a Disaster Supplies Kit, assembled by the Red Cross, for each troop for them to use as an example. Last year, 100 Scouts participated and they were given information on all three Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit components. In addition, each participant will take home a kit containing items such as canned food (with the pop top lids so you don’t need a can opener), bottled water, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a whistle, a dust mask, hand sanitizer, garbage bags, toilet paper, and a complete list of items they should include in their own kits. 

* Offices in Iron Mountain, Michigan and the Oshkosh, Wisconsin office have just completed Disaster Exercises. The first with the regional airport and the latter in collaboration with Winnebago County Emergency Management with simulated disaster event at UW Oshkosh. 

* Additional programs, partnerships and training are happening throughout the Region, please check with your local Chapter for additional details.

 The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of four Chapters serving 20 counties by providing relief to victims of disaster and helping people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. This regional grouping strives to maintain both consistency and momentum in serving this purpose across the multiple Chapters including the East Central Wisconsin, Lakeland Chapter, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapter.  For more information about local activities during National Preparedness Month, contact your local Chapter or by visiting our regional website www.newredcross.org

(1)  The general preparedness findings are based on an online survey of 1,306 U.S. residents 18 years and older conducted July 24-August 7, 2009 by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Red Cross.

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.