September is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross, NH Region and Unitil Corporation, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, are 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 Maria White, NH Region CEO, “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.”
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. In addition, instructions and a template to build a plan are available on the Red Cross website.
“Everyone must be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors in an emergency,” Maria White, said. “No one can predict where or when disasters will strike, but preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow.”
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.
Additionally, Unitil recommends that customers prepare for emergency situations by checking and making an inventory of the following items:
- Flashlights and fresh batteries
- A battery-operated radio and clock
- Bottled water, canned foods and a manual can opener
- A list of important phone numbers and a car charger for cell phones if applicable
- A first aid kit.
“Unitil cares deeply about the well being of our customers and our employees,” Carol Valianti, Unitil’s vice president of communications and public affairs, said. “We urge our customers to make sure their families are ‘Red Cross Ready’ by preparing ahead and having a disaster plan at home.”
Unitil’s partnership with the ARC, now in its second year, involves close collaboration on several educational, community development and volunteer opportunities—all intended to positively impact Unitil and ARC employees, as well as volunteers and members of the communities they serve. For more information on Unitil’s partnership with the ARC, please visit http://www.unitil.com/our-community/red-cross.
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.
About the American Red Cross, NH Region:
For 95 years in NH, the American Red Cross has provided food, shelter and emotional support t to victims of disasters. We have supplied safe blood products to NH residents; and we have taught thousands of NH resident’s lifesaving skills in CPR/First Aid; Lifeguard and Babysitting training; Wilderness First Aid and training in AEDs. We have provided international humanitarian aid; and supported military members and their families. For more information, please visitat www.nhredcross.org. For more information about the American Red Cross or the services in your community, please visit www.nhredcross.org or call the NH Regional Office at 1-800-464-6692. Please consider joining us as we empower others to prepare, prevent and respond to emergencies.