Being Prepared Can Help Your Community

Be Red Cross Ready

When disasters strike our community, the Red Cross, along with first responders and public safety agencies, urgently respond to assist those affected. Knowing that help is readily available and can be counted upon is not only comforting but reassuring.

Depending on where you live will typically indicate what types of nature-caused disasters may occur in your community. On the other hand, regardless of where you live, human-caused disasters can occur any place, any time.

So how does preparing your family help your community?

First responders and public safety agencies are hard at work providing emergency care when a disaster strikes. However preparing your family as best as possible will empower you to care for each other in the midst of a disaster especially if you are waiting for help to arrive.

The American Red Cross assists with disaster relief but also urges families to better prepare.


  • Making an emergency kit for each member of your family can quickly provide for essential needs. Among many items, consider including a copy of identification; emergency contact phone list (relatives, friends, doctors, hospitals, etc.); cash; appropriate season clothes and shoes; over the counter and daily administered medicine; first aid kit; prescription glasses; hearing aids; snacks and water; hand-crank radios with a flashlight, radio and cell phone charging option. Keep these items in a bag you could grab in the middle the night if there is a house fire or have a bag ready to go in your vehicle if you work outside the home or travel in your area frequently.
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  • Making a plan to decide how you and your family will evacuate your home if a house fire occurs or you receive a warning of dangerous weather approaching your area. Consider how you will connect with loved ones if something should happen during a week day when everyone is at work or school, or on a weekend when everyone is at separate events and activities.
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  • Being informed of what is happening is helpful. Having a radio on hand can communicate information about weather changes, public safety announcements and other pertinent news updates that can help you and your family determine the next step to take in the midst of a disaster. Also consider signing up for free alerts that can be sent to you via email and/or cell phone within your region (in the National Capital Region visit Capitalert at

Fully trained first responders and public safety agencies work daily to assist our community in the event disasters strike. The Red Cross also works as diligently to help prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters impacting our community as well. Visit for ways to get prepared and how to get trained in CPR/AED and First Aid training.


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