The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
It’s National Preparedness Month! During the month of September, I encourage you to create a fire escape plan so everyone in the household knows what to do if a fire occurs.
Large-scale disasters like tornadoes and floods always make the news, but the most common disaster threat people face across our community is a fire in their home. Your American Red Cross of the Mid-South provides assistance to an average of 3 families each and every day who lose their home to fire. Many of these fires can be prevented and survived by taking just a few simple steps.
1) CREATE A PLAN Steps for to create a fire escape plan include:
• Walking through the home and looking at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows;
• Listing two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths;
• Picking a place to meet outside, a safe distance away from the home;
• Conducting drills. Practice until every member of the household, including children, can escape the home in less than two minutes;
• Making sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1; and
• Teaching everyone to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
2) PRACTICE YOUR PLAN at least twice a year.
3) INSTALL A SMOKE ALARM on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test the alarms monthly, install new batteries at least once a year or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions, and replace alarms every ten years.
4) DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency App contains information on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. Children can learn about fire prevention and safety through gaming with the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App. Designed for 7 to 11-year-olds, the app teaches them safety tips for a variety of disasters by having them role-play as different monster characters. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
In honor of National Preparedness Month, encourage your family and neighbors to take these simple steps as well!