Archive for the ‘October 2009’ Category

Turning Back Time and Preparing for the Future

October 30, 2009

red clock

This weekend it’s time to “fall back” by turning our clocks back an hour. After you change the clock, take a moment to check on a few other important things that can also affect you and your family. 

“When you turn your clocks back one hour, take the time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and make sure the alarms work by pushing the test button,” said Scott Conner, Red Cross senior vice president, Preparedness and Health and Safety Services. “Replace the batteries at least once a year and check your carbon monoxide detectors, too.”

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Other steps you can take to get prepared include:

  • Updating the emergency contact information in your family communications plan. Choose an out-of-area emergency contact that each person in your family can call if he/she becomes separated during a disaster situation.
  • Making sure your emergency preparedness kit still includes at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food items and water (one gallon per person per day), a flashlight, a battery-powered or crank radio, can opener, first aid kit, copies of important documents, and special items such as medications, diapers, and infant formula.
  • Checking your emergency preparedness kit for expired food items; refresh staples such as water, food and batteries. If there have been changes in prescriptions or dietary needs, add new foods and medications as needed.


Taking simple actions like these can help you and your family be better prepared for a disaster or emergency situation. They can come in the form of a home fire, flu or H1N1 (Swine) flu, snow/ice storm, heart attack or power outage among many others.

So, when you turn back the clock this weekend, take a few extra minutes to ensure that you and your family are better prepared for the unexpected.

Click here to learn other ways to be prepared!


Disasters Affect People Physically and Emotionally

October 11, 2009


Taking care of your emotional health is just as important as meeting other immediate emergency needs.

Each positive action you take can help you feel better and more in control.

  • This is especially true if you have experienced a previous disaster.
  • The good news is that many people have experience coping with stressful life events and are naturally resilient—meaning we are designed to bounce back from difficult times.
  • Here is some information on how to recognize your current feelings and tips for taking care of the emotional health of you, your family and your friends.
  • Click here to learn more about taking care of your emotional health when you have experienced a disaster.

    Fire Safety Awareness Week October 4th – 10th

    October 4, 2009

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    With cool weather making its way in and holiday decorating increasing in the upcoming months, fire safety is vital.

    Home fires are the most common disaster the American Red Cross responds to and is also the most preventable.

    Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.

    The most effective way to protect yourself, your family and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Click here for more tips about fire safety, download a checklist and read about frequently asked questions.

    Preparedness Can Save Your Life

    October 1, 2009

    Although National Preparedness Month in September is over, preparing yourself and your family needs to continue year-round. Disasters can be in the form of a loved one experiencing a life-threatening emergency, a home fire, tornado, terrorist attack or floods – just a few of many examples. Now is the time to learn how to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters or other life-threatening emergencies that can happen at any place, any time. Click here to learn ways to better prepare.

    mcgovern napolitano ee

    In an event marking the conclusion of National Preparedness Month, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano addressed an audience of more than 300 members of local volunteer organizations from around the region, including the American Red Cross, DHS Citizen Corps, local emergency management agencies and employees of DHS and FEMA. The event was held Tuesday, Sept. 29th at the American Red Cross headquarters on 17th Street in Washington, D.C. and included opening remarks by Red Cross’ President and CEO Gail McGovern and remarks by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

    fugate ee

    At the event, Napolitano recognized the tremendous work on behalf of the community of several exceptional volunteers from various organizations, including Martin Nkwain, a disaster volunteer, instructor and a disaster duty officer for the Regional Disaster Coordination Center at the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area. Napolitano’s remarks centered on America’s shared responsibility for preparedness and stressed the important role that individuals play in building a national culture of readiness and resilience. Click here to read more about this event. 

    Click here to read about how one of our volunteers, Martin Nkwain, was honored by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during this event.