America is a special place, where someone you may not know will give you their blood, save you from drowning or provide you with shelter. September has been proclaimed as American Red Cross Preparedness month.
The American Red Cross recommends 3 Action Steps you should take to be prepared for emergencies:
Get a Kit – Make an emergency preparedness kit with at least three days worth of essential items needed by each household member. Essential items include water (1 gallon per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, a battery operated radio, extra batteries, a manual can opener, cash and important medications. Store items in a sturdy, sealable, easy-to-carry container. Remember to check your kit every six months and replace expired items. Families who have an emergency preparedness kit report feeling more confident in their ability to help themselves in a disaster situation until help arrives. They are not only better able to help themselves but are more likely to help their neighbors as well.
Make a Plan – As part of making a plan, the American Red Cross recommends creating and practicing an evacuation and communications plan. Each person in your household should know how to reach other members and where to meet if you can’t go home. As part of your communications plan, choose an out-of-area relative or friend as an emergency contact and make sure that all your household members know how to contact this person. As part of your evacuation plan, choose two meeting places: one right outside of your home in case you need to escape in a hurry, like in the event of a home fire, and one outside of your neighborhood, in case a disaster prevents you from returning home. If you have a pet, you’ll need to make arrangements for them in case you need to evacuate. Prepare a list of family, friends, pet-friendly motels and boarding facilities that could shelter your animals in a disaster situation. Pets, other than service animals, are not permitted in Red Cross shelters for health and safety reasons. If you are asked to evacuate, take your pets with you. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them.
Be Informed - Being informed means finding out what types of disasters are likely to occur where you live, work and play, and how you would receive information from local officials in the event of a disaster. Part of being informed is learning first aid, CPR and how to use an AED so you have the skills to respond to an emergency when help is delayed. To learn more about CPR/First Aid skills, contact your local Red Cross chapter at 830/257-4677 to register for a class.
Although hurricanes and wildfires make the headlines, the day-to-day work of the Red Cross is centered on communities like ours and led by volunteers. Through the American Red Cross, there is a place families can turn to for food, shelter and comfort, when fires and other disaster related emergencies strike. The Hill Country Chapter of the American Red Cross was chartered December 17, 1917 and has served the communities disaster relief needs ever since.
The Hill Country Chapter of the American Red Cross serves over 7,416 square miles and 100,000 people in Blanco, Gillespie, Kerr, Kimble, Mason, Menard and Sutton counties.
The mission is to help Texans prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters from our headquarters in Kerrville, TX.
The past year, the Hill Country Chapter provided immediate emergency assistance to 23 families whose homes were destroyed by fire. The chapter provided food and water to emergency personnel fighting brush fires. The chapter opened numerous cases for members of the Armed Forces and their families to help verify information for active duty personnel so that emergency leave could be granted.
For more information about disaster training classes, CPR/First Aid training, or if you would like for a representative of the chapter to make a Be Red Cross Ready presentation at your church, club or organization contact the Hill Country Chapter at 830-257-4677.