The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Red Cross 

Red Cross urges emergency preparedness


Disasters can strike at any time, and the American Red Cross of Alaska, encourages everyone to take the first step during National Preparedness Month and join America’s PrepareAthon, creating a disaster plan for their household that can help keep people safe in an emergency.

“Having an emergency plan is an important step so everyone in the household knows what they should do if something happens,” said Beth Bennett, Regional Communications Officer. “We believe people should mark National Preparedness Month by creating or updating their plan.”

Make a plan. Everyone in the household should help put the emergency plan together so they know what they should do if a disaster occurs. Because everyone may not be together at home when a disaster happens, the plan should include ways to contact one another and two places to meet – one near the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent people from returning home. The plan should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service.

Any emergency plan should also include decisions about where to go if ordered to evacuate and what route to take to get there. It’s a good idea to include alternate routes in case roads are closed. Don’t forget family pets. Make sure to include plans for them such as pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along the evacuation route.

Home fires. The most common threat people face across the country is a fire in their home. National Preparedness Month is a good time to develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in the household. Twice a year, walk through the home and look at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows. List two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths. Pick a place to meet outside, a safe distance away and – no matter the circumstances – stay out of the home until fire officials say it is OK to go back inside.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. They should test the alarms monthly, replace the batteries at least once a year and replace them every 10 years.

Red Cross apps. The Red Cross has developed mobile apps that provide information on what to do before, during and after emergencies, including a “Make a Plan” feature on how to develop an emergency plan. The free apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

For information on how to prepare for all types of emergencies, people can visit

About the American Red Cross: In the last twelve months, the American Red Cross of Alaska has offered food, shelter, comfort and hope to 954 Alaskans and provided $337,085 in direct financial assistance to those affected by disaster. We responded to 141 single and multi-family house fires, helping 330 Alaska families. Our preparedness / Health and Safety teams have trained 15,804 people in lifesaving skills and have taught more than 3,258 Alaskans how to be better prepared for disasters.

Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 783 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families.

The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For information, visit, like the Red Cross on Facebook, follow on Twitter @RedCrossAK, or follow on


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