Red Cross asks everyone to prepare for the next emergency


TROY – September is National Preparedness Month, the perfect time for people to get their household ready in case an emergency should occur.

The American Red Cross prepares all year for disasters and urges everyone to Be Red Cross Ready, too.

“As we were dramatically reminded last spring, disasters can happen anywhere and at any time,” said Lynne Gump, executive director of the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter. “During National Preparedness Month, we ask you to take three action steps – get an emergency kit, make an emergency plan and be informed – so you and your loved ones can react quickly if an emergency occurs.”

The Red Cross urges everyone to take three action steps to get prepared:

1. Build a kit – Build an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you if you must evacuate. Include items such as water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, first aid kit and medications.

2. Make a plan – Talk with members of your household about what to do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case everyone is separated and choose two places to meet – one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

3. Be informed – Know what kinds of emergency situations may occur where you live, where you work and where you go to school. Get trained in first aid and CPR/AED so you’ll know what to do in an emergency if help is delayed. Don’t forget your pets and plan for them, too.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS: The Red Cross Emergency App has more than 35 customizable severe weather and emergency alerts. Content on what to do before, during and after emergencies from power outages to home fires, to hurricanes and tornadoes, can be viewed in English or Spanish.

Parents can download the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App so 7 to 11 year olds will have a fun, gaming environment to learn how to prevent emergencies and what to do if one occurs. Apps can be downloaded for free by searching for American Red Cross in app stores or visiting redcross.org/apps.

People also can enable Red Cross skills for Alexa to receive notifications about an approaching hurricanes, get valuable first aid information and schedule blood donations. Details are available at redcross.org/alexa-skills.

GIVE BLOOD: Severe weather events can have a significant effect on the ability of the Red Cross to collect lifesaving blood products due to canceled blood drives and decreased donor turnout in affected areas. Hundreds of drives were cancelled along the line of the most recent hurricane, but that doesn’t mean the need is gone.

It is the blood already on hand that helps those in need. Each day, the Red Cross must collect about 13,000 blood donations and more than 2,500 platelet donations to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients and children with blood disorders.

Volunteer blood and platelet donors are needed to help save lives. Eligible donors are encouraged to schedule a donation appointment by using the Blood Donor Skill for Amazon Alexa, the Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).