September is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross, NMI Chapter 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 J.D. Tenorio, emergency services director of the NMI Chapter. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.”
During the month of September, the local chapter will be coordinating disaster training classes as well as various outreach activities on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. The Red Cross together with various government agencies will also be conducting school presentations to teach students how to prepare for disasters.
“Everyone must be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors in an emergency,” Tenorio 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 RatingT 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.
For more information on the American Red Cross or to become a volunteer, contact the local chapter at 234-3459. (PR)