Preparedness Education – Are you Red Cross Ready?

What are my local hazards? Why should I prepare? What do I do when disaster strikes?

These are just a few of the subjects the members of the Preparedness Education team address on a regular basis. Volunteers of the American Red Cross give preparedness presentations, free of charge, to local businesses, schools, community groups, and other organizations in an effort to help them prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies (see the Red Cross mission creeping in there?).

The key steps to preparedness are: Get a kit; make a plan; be informed. In sunny Southern California, we don’t always think about the hazards in our area, so the first step is familiarizing ourselves with them.

The more you prepare for a disaster, the easier it will be for you to cope, respond, and recover. Preparedness volunteer lead and AmeriCorps member Amy Estey urges people to “think of what kind of life you want after a disaster and plan accordingly.” Being prepared allows you to be more self-reliant and assist your family and community in their time of need.

Consider every place you spend time and make an effort to learn the plan for each location. If making a kit seems overwhelming, make it part of your normal routine by assembling items little by little. Your commitment to preparedness could save your life.

“You can’t control how the earthquake will shake you…but you can act now to control how it will harm you.”

These words from Dr. Lucy Jones of USGS ring true not only for earthquakes, but also for other disasters.


Weather Doesn’t Care

Unlike the aftershocks of earthquakes, which normally hit an earthquake-stricken area multiple times within a year or two, tornadoes in the same area are not a common phenomenon.  The Red Cross last week, however, began sending volunteers back to Alabama in another season of tornadoes, not too long after last year’s response.  The relief efforts are ongoing, and the organization continues its mission to always respond to disasters, no matter the scale or the frequency.

Surprisingly, California isn’t immune to tornadoes, as we’ve seen in hard rainfall and high winds among recent years.  There’s always a reason to be prepared for any emergency, including wind-related disasters.  Click here for more on the Alabama tornadoes and how you can stay safe when you’re in an area that has been issued a tornado warning.