September is National Preparedness Month

1174629_10151849763080071_1492313273_nSeptember is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross urges families to develop an emergency plan to be ready for the next emergency or disaster.

Things can happen very quickly and sometimes there are only minutes to react. Planning ahead can help keep households safe. Having an emergency plan helps families be prepared for an emergency or large-scale disaster. You can visit the Preparedness section of to learn what steps your family can take when emergencies strike.

RED CROSS APPS Several free Red Cross mobile apps offer help creating emergency plans. Use the ‘Make a Plan’ feature in the apps to create an emergency plan and then share it with loved ones. The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Android by searching for ‘American Red Cross’. A Family Disaster Plan Template is also available for download to help make or update the plan.

HOME FIRES The most common disaster threat people face across the country is a fire in their home. National Preparedness Month is a good time to develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in the household. When developing the plan, walk through the home and look at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows. List two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths. Pick a place to meet outside, a safe distance away and – no matter the circumstances – stay out of the home until fire officials say it is okay to go back inside. All households should practice their plan at least twice a year.

You should also install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test the alarms monthly, replace the batteries at least once a year and replace them every ten years.

READY RATING Businesses and schools face a number of emergencies that could disrupt their operations, ranging from natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and floods to outbreaks of illness such as the flu. The program features a website,, that enables businesses and organizations to measure how ready they are to deal with emergencies – and then gives instant customized feedback on how to improve. A free, self-paced membership program, Ready Rating begins with a comprehensive assessment of whether a business or organization is prepared to handle a disaster. Members score themselves on how prepared they are and receive steps they can take to improve their readiness planning. The assessment covers items from hazard vulnerability to continuity of operations and employee readiness.


Don’t wait! Take action this month to prepare you, your family, community and workplace!

Take the pledge

As we’ve seen over the past few months with wildfires, floods and other emergencies, disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. This September we’re on a mission. We want you and every American to be prepared with an emergency game plan.

We’re starting with you. Take the first, easy step: pledge to be prepared for the next emergency by September 30. You have a couple days left!!!

CAM0061 pledge prepare

By signing our pledge, you’ll join a community of thousands of other Americans who are ready no matter what comes their way.

And, after signing our pledge, you’ll be able to make an emergency game plan for you and your family, sign up for a course and create an emergency checklist or kit.

Don’t wait – pledge to be prepared today.

Whether it’s a hurricane, a flood, or a house fire that threatens, it pays to plan ahead.


Gail McGovern
President and CEO, American Red Cross

September is National Preparedness Month

By: Jody Weyers, Communications Director


excited_cartoonOk,  maybe you are not that excited about National Preparedness Month,  but we are!!!  The American Red Cross joins in celebrating National Preparedness Month 2013 & we hope you will too.

This focus on a single month by every organization that cares about emergency preparedness allows our separate voices to reinforce each other, creating a better opportunity to be heard by Americans who live with disaster risk.

We know talking about safety, tips, and other preparedness topics can be a little dry, so that is why we are bringing you the “30 days of Safety Tips” 

I have recruited some volunteers and staff to write about their oops, should have, could have, ah ha safety moments, to share with you, so the next time you find yourself in a situation, hopefully our tips will help you remember what not, and what to do so you are prepared.

Our goals for National Preparedness Month for this year include the following:

  1. Increase the number of individuals/families that have taken steps to become more prepared
  2. Strengthen the public’s awareness of preparedness and participation in Red Cross programs
  3. Make people laugh while learning.  🙂

Stay tuned……

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

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 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 Find us on,, the local blog is and Chapter photos are at

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 or join our blog at

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   

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

(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 or join our blog at