Partnership Aids Residence Prepare for Disaster

The American Red Cross, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Endowment for Financial Eduction (NEFE) wants to make sure that you are prepared when the next disaster strikes, not just physically but also financially.


In a joint effort, the three organizations have put together a 52 page guide entitled “Disasters and Financial Planning – A Guide for Preparedness and Recovery” that you can download for free.

The guide contains 6 chapters that cover the following:

Chapter 1: Making a Disaster Plan
Chapter 2: Protecting Your Property
Chapter 3: Protecting Your Health and Life
Chapter 4: Protecting Your Loved Ones
Chapter 5: Protecting Your Records
Chapter 6: Recovering from a Disaster

We can all hope that we never actually have to make use of this document but, if disaster strikes, you’ll have a lot more peace of mind knowing that you are in fact, ready.


New App from the Red Cross Warns of Floods

From the Red Cross Website…

App’s audio flood and flash flood alerts can help save lives

The American Red Cross today announced its new Flood App to help save lives and reduce losses from floods and flash floods.

This free app gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a flood. The content is available in English and Spanish based on the user’s language settings on their mobile device. The app includes location-based, audible NOAA flood and flash flood watches and warnings – even if the app is closed.

“The alerts in the app will help save lives by notifying people so they can gather their loved ones and head to safety,” said Jim Judge, preparedness expert, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee and chair of its Preparedness Sub-Council. “Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, so it’s important for people to know what supplies to have on hand and what to do if an event occurs.”

Other features of the app include:

  • One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Real-time recovery resources for returning home and cleaning up; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

The new Red Cross Flood App is being released during National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which runs from March 16-22.

To read more and to download the app go to:

New Free First Aid App

In an ideal world, everyone would learn first aid and know what to do in case of emergency. Barring that, however, the next best thing is that regardless of what I do or don’t know, I can have instant access to the information I need when I need it.

The Red Cross is trying to make this a reality with “First Aid – American Red Cross“, a new app for all Android 2.2 and up mobile devices.

With a menu driving interface, the app with walk you through any first aid scenario. With videos, illustrations, quizzes and more, it’s hard to see how they could have done any better.

You can always download my “The Basics of First Aid” manual and keep it in your back pocket at all times but it seems to me that this app might be a lot more practical.

Earthquake & Tornado Preparedness tips from the American Red Cross

Posting this from an email I received from the American Red Cross

Last week, a series of devastating tornadoes ripped through parts of the Midwest and South, causing multiple fatalities and leaving many without power, food and water. And on Monday, two earthquakes rattled the San Francisco bay area, forcing a brief disruption of public transportation.

Events like these remind us that disasters can strike with little warning and disrupt whole communities, affecting the businesses, schools, employees, customers and community members we depend on.

Help your community stay safe – and your organization strong – by sharing these Earthquake Preparedness and Tornado Preparedness tips with your employees and their families and friends.

As a Ready Rating member, we know you understand the importance of preparedness. That is why were asking you to help spread the word. Tell your corporate ‘neighbors’ to visit and take the 123 Assessment.

From individuals to organizations, it takes the whole community to be prepared.


The Ready Rating Team

P.S. Now is a great time to visit Ready Rating to update your preparedness plans, retake the 123 Assessment or conduct drills and exercises to test your plans. Go to to get started.

September is National Preparedness Month

This month marks the 10 years since 9/11. This month is also National Preparedness month.

Being prepared not only makes sense, it is a duty for each one of us. When an emergency strikes responders cannot help everyone and resources are stretched to the max. Being prepared allows official responders focus their time, energy and resources on the most needy (handicapped, wounded, elderly, children, etc…).

Being prepared means being educated and it means having emergency supplies on-hand.

What are the supplies you’ll need?

Food means having emergency rations. This can be freeze dried food, energy bars, canned goods and any other type of non-perishable food. Remember, however, not to tap into them until you’ve exhausted all the food in your fridge and freezer, in that order. Work your way through the food in the fridge first, don’t even open the freezer until the food in the fridge is used up. Then, once you do open the freezer, work through the food as it thaws (eat up stuff that is thawed first and allow stuff that is partially or completely frozen to remain in the freezer until it has thawed too). Then and only then, should you tap into the emergency rations. Emergency Smartpacks that are endorsed by the Red Cross are a way to go. Have several of these available for each person in your household. One of the advantages of these type of emergency packs are that you can take them with you if you have to leave or are evacuated.

You should have several 5 gallon containers of water stored for emergency. You need one gallon per person, per day. As soon as the power goes out, fill up the bathtub. If water does run low after a while remember that you can use the clean drinking water in the toilet tank as well as in the water heater if you have to.

Source of heat

Wood stoves are the best source of heat in emergencies. Beware of using kerosene heaters and other types of heaters that might give off CO. You should have emergency blankets available. The silver aluminized blankets are extremely small to store and very effective in “reflecting” the body heat back. Use it in conjunction with other blankets for maximum warmth.

Emergency Radio
A battery powered emergency radio will keep you informed of shelters, emergency posts, news, etc… Remember to have enough batteries to keep it functioning as long as possible. Use the radio sparingly, just to check news and information, to maximize battery use.

Flashlights and lightsticks
One of the best advances in technology in the past few years has been the LED light. Because it uses so little energy, the batteries in the flashlights last 25 + longer than conventional bulbs. Have a few LED Flashlights on hand as well as several spare batteries and you should be good to go for quite a long time. Lightsticks are also a must have. There are several different types available, some which will burn up to 12 hours. Simply snap and shake and you’ve got a safe source of light, no matter what the conditions. They even work underwater. They will store for a very long time and will be ready for use when you need them.

First Aid supplies
In case of emergency, you’ll need more than just a basic first aid kit. A major emergency medical kit would be a good investment to keep on hand. Having first aid certification is also a good idea. If you don’t have it, however, most kits include a basic manual to walk you through the basics of what you’ll need to know for most emergencies medical issues.

Special circumstances also warrant special supplies. If, for example you’ve got someone who has medical needs that require power, you should probably invest in a good quality generator and plenty of fuel to keep their equipment running when the power is lost.

For more help in being prepared, be educated. The Red Cross has put out a great 4 page booklet that you can download for free that will help you be ready for any and all emergencies.

We all hope and pray for a long and safe life with no major catastrophe and emergencies. The reality is, however, that doodoo happens sometimes. Being prepared and knowing what to do when an emergency hits can make all the difference, even possibly between life and death.

Twitter and Facebook increasingly used in emergencies

According to an informal poll taken by the Red Cross recently a growing number of us are using social media (Facebook, Twitter) to learn how loved ones are doing as well as notify loved ones how we are doing when emergencies hit.

The keys findings of the poll include:

  • Followed by television and local radio, the internet is the third most popular way for people to gather emergency information with 18 percent of both the general and the online population specifically using Facebook for that purpose
  • Nearly a fourth (24 percent) of the general population and a third (31 percent) of the online population would use social media to let loved ones know they are safe;
  • Four of five (80 percent) of the general and 69 percent of the online populations surveyed believe that national emergency response organizations should regularly monitor social media sites in order to respond promptly.
  • For those who would post a request for help through social media, 39 percent of those polled online and 35 of those polled via telephone said they would expect help to arrive in less than one hour.

The red cross is seeing this as an unprecedented opportunity to communicate more effectively and is encouraging other agencies to look at it in the same light as well as to focus more in the future on making use of social media to respond better to those affected during catastrophe and emergency situations.

Already the red cross has made available two mobile apps, one to let people know where to find emergency shelter and another to help teach first aid and CPR.

Read more about this at

Emergency Preparedness Planning Checklist

Tornados, floods, earthquakes, winter storms, hurricanes, fires and/or hazardous material spills – Any one of these emergencies can kill, maim and destroy property or lives. Once disaster strikes, it’s too late to try to get ready for it. Being prepared can save lives and reduce the severity of the injuries and help in the moments after before emergency personnel can get to you.

A checklist, provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with the American Red Cross can help get you ready.

The checklist is divided into three sections:

  • Call Your Emergency Management Office or American Red Cross Chapter
  • Create an Emergency Plan
  • Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit

The Emergency Plan includes a form to be filled out with all the contact information and phone numbers for family members, doctors, emergency personnel and other contacts as well as a section to fill out which shows the floor plan for each floor in your home with the escape routes mapped out.

Learn more and download this checklist here. Print it out, fill it out and post it where those who need to see it will be able have access to it.