Posts Tagged ‘prepare’

Turning Back Time and Preparing for the Future

October 30, 2009

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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!


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.

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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.

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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.

Being Prepared Can Help Your Community

September 29, 2009

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.

September is National Preparedness Month

September 2, 2009

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Each year many organizations partner together in an effort to urge Americans to become more prepared. The American Red Cross of the National Capital Area’s mission is to help our community learn how to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters (natural or human-caused) and other life-threatening emergencies that can strike at any place, any time.

Click here to read more about being more prepared in your family, at your work place and  your school. Learn about how your Red Cross can help you better prepare.

Summer Heat Waves

July 6, 2009

Summer is well on its way and heat waves can be expected.

Excessive heat has caused more deaths than other weather-related deaths – including floods.

A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity. Generally temperatures are 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region during summer months, lasting for a long period of time and ocurring with high humidity as well.

Know the Difference

Excessive Heat Watch – Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.

Excessive Heat Warning – Heat index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least two days (daytime highs = 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit).

Heat Advisory– Heat index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for one to two days (daytime highs = 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit).


Three Essential Things to Learn

How Can I Prepare?

What Should I Do During a Heat Wave?

Recognize and Care for Heat Related Emergencies


Click here to download a Be Red Cross Ready Heat Wave Safety Checklist.

Educating and preparing yourselves about heat waves will empower you and your family to have a more enjoyable, safer summer experience.