Red Cross encourages families to make sure their homes are prepared for disasters amid rise in recent emergencies

South Carolina News

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – The American Red Cross says emergencies are becoming more request and large in scale due to climate change.

Intense storms, flooding, high temperatures, severe droughts, wildfires and record-setting hurricanes – these are just some of the emergency situations people across the country have been facing over the past few months.

It’s one reason the Red Cross is encouraging families to make sure their households are prepared for whatever disaster may pose risk to them.

Ben Williamson, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross South Carolina Chapter, said they have seen emergency situations impacting people who don’t typically experience a major disaster or extreme weather, while other communities are going through the devastation of disasters multiple times a year.

Here in the Lowcountry, we’re no stranger to tropical storms, isolated tornado threats and flooding which pose the most risk to our area.

“Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime. We urge people to prepare now and be ready if an emergency occurs in their home or in our local community,” said Tony Reid, the Regional Disaster Officer for the Red Cross of South Carolina. “Helping people during disasters is at the heart of our mission and climate change is a serious threat we are all facing. Help keep your loved ones safe — get Red Cross Ready today.”

Mandy McWherter, the Regional Communication Manager for the Red Cross of South Carolina, said “the more that families can be prepared, the more the more resilient we are as a community”. 

HOW TO GET PREPARED Help keep your family safe by taking three actions to 1) Get a Kit. 2) Make a Plan. 3) Be Informed.

  1. First, build your emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants or pets, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
  2. Next, plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you must evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work, and your community’s emergency plans. Don’t forget to include your pets. Remember, if you and your family need to evacuate, so does your pet.
  3. Finally, plan to stay informed by finding out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.

ADDITIONAL CONCERNS Being prepared is important for everyone. Depending on your household’s needs, there might be additional considerations to consider as part of your emergency planning.

For example, older adults or people with mobility, hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities may need to create a support network of people that can help during an emergency. The Red Cross recommends creating a plan that considers each person’s capabilities, any help they may need and who can provide it. This is especially important if evacuations are called for or if the power goes out for several days.

Disasters can be scary for children. It’s important to talk with your kids about preparing for common emergencies, how to stay safe and what to expect before a disaster happens.

FREE VIRTUAL PREPAREDNESS CLASSES: You can help by preparing your families. The Red Cross of South Carolina offers Free Virtual Preparedness courses. From preparing adults to young children, there is a class for everyone.

You can find local class offerings and times at:

  • ‘Be Red Cross Ready’ is offered every fourth Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. This class focuses on preparing adults and families for disasters.
  • ‘The Pillowcase Project’ is offered every fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. This class focuses on preparing elementary school children for disasters.
  • ‘Prepare with Pedro’ is offered every third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. This class focuses on preparing young children for disasters.
  • ‘Hands Only CPR’ is offered every third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. This class focuses on teaching the skill of CPR to people of all ages.
  • ‘Ready Rating’ is offered every fourth Friday of the month at 11:00 a.m. This class focuses on preparing businesses, organizations and schools for disasters.

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