Be Red Cross ready
Are you prepared if an emergency or disaster strikes? September has been designated National Preparedness Month! This is a great time to take steps towards becoming more prepared – like learning about the types of emergencies that could affect you, making a preparedness plan and putting together an emergency kit.
When a disaster strikes, assistance can sometimes be delayed while agencies like The Red Cross respond to calls for help, so it’s wise to make sure that your family is Red Cross ready. An easy way to start becoming more prepared is to put together a basic emergency preparedness kit:
- Store at least a 3-day supply of food, water, medication and other items you will need in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you have to evacuate.
- Remember to check your supplies every six months and replace expired or outdated items.
But of course, being prepared is about more than just putting together a kit, which is why the Red Cross has created a free, simple and informative online education program, Be Red Cross Ready , to help ensure that you and your family are as prepared as possible for any emergency. The program covers emergency preparedness for natural disasters, but also has lifesaving medical emergency information such as adult CPR training, what to do if someone is choking, and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Tutorials and videos make learning more about these invaluable lifesaving skills simple and easy and most importantly, they will help give you the confidence to take action when needed. You can even download one of many Red Cross Mobile Apps (http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps), putting lifesaving skills at your fingertips. Click on the image on the right to go to the Be Red Cross Ready training module.
After watching the educational training session and participating in the exercises, you and your family will be better prepared for emergencies that, with luck, you’ll hopefully never have to experience.
Once you’ve taken the course and prepared your kits, encourage friends and family members to do the same. If you have elderly or housebound neighbors or relatives, help them purchase items and put together their preparedness kits so you know they’re safe and ready too.
If you want to help out even more, participate in a hands-on volunteer opportunity in support of your local Red Cross. Many of our members have created hygiene/disaster kits for the Red Cross to distribute during times of emergency, and we had a very successful preparedness kit event in Calgary this spring.
On May 31, 18 Foresters volunteers, ages 4 to 70+, spent two hours assembling preparedness kits and being trained in emergency preparedness by Red Cross trainers. The kits were donated to the Red Cross and distributed to those in need in the local community. The activity was held just a few weeks before the one-year anniversary of the devastating 2013 floods that ravaged Calgary and several communities in Alberta, so it was a healing and important event for everyone who attended. After the training, volunteers were encouraged to share their newly acquired preparedness knowledge with their families, friends and neighbors.
Make sure you’re Red Cross Ready by taking the online training and encouraging your friends and family to be prepared too. If you want to find out more about local volunteer opportunities with Foresters, visit the Events section on MyForesters.com.
411450E CAN/US (04/15)