Monday, September 12, 2016

Letter from Northeast Tennessee Executive Director, Glenda Bobalik - September 2016

This month, the American Red Cross joins in celebrating National Preparedness Month 2016. The national theme for this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Across the country, people are being asked to make their disaster plan now.

So, I have a question for you:  Have you made your Emergency Plan?  This is especially important for those of us who have accepted the responsibility of asking others to be prepared.  Sometimes in our busy lives, we forget to take time to “practice what we preach.”  Please join me in making the commitment that by the end of September, we will have an emergency plan incorporating our personal communications plan.  Those of you who respond to disasters know how critical it is that people have a way to reach friends and family to let them know they are safe.

Once we have our plans in place, we need to spread the word.  Statistics show that those who have a plan prior to a disaster recover much more quickly than those who are unprepared.  To make our friends, co-workers, and neighbors safer is the goal.  Think of the power of each of us motivating just five families to make an Emergency Plan.

As you develop your plan, remember that home fires are the most common disaster threat people face in our community.  Making a fire escape plan is an integral part of a good Emergency Plan.  List two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths and, of course, select a place to meet once outside.  Another critical safety preparation is to install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

While creating your plan, there are many resources available to help. is a primary source for information. The Red Cross Emergency App is another way to have information at your fingertips.  Encourage anyone with a smart phone to download the app today.

Now we have a plan!  First we each create or update our own Emergency Plan by the end of September.  Then we each reach out to five others and help them find the resources to create or update their Emergency Plan.  When we reach our goal we will have a safer community!

Stay safe and enjoy the final days of summer!


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