Thursday, July 12, 2012

Local Red Cross Chapters Launch Ready in the Heartland

New online Red Cross tool helps businesses and schools prepare for emergencies

The American Red Cross has launched a collection of free, online tools to help businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies through a program called Ready Rating.   

Emergencies like power outages, water main breaks and medical emergencies can disrupt daily operations. Disasters like tornados, floods, earthquakes and fires have the potential to cause workplaces to fold and schools to close. According to the Insurance Information Institute, up to 40% of businesses fail after a natural or man-made disaster.  

In an effort to better prepare for such events, Ready Rating members complete a confidential assessment of their current readiness level for emergencies and receive immediate, customized feedback with tips and resources for them to improve their readiness scores.  In select pilot areas, more than 1,300 businesses and organizations and nearly 450 schools are already Ready Rating members. Members have increased their assessment scores – some by as much as 42 percent. 93 percent of members rate the service as good to excellent.

“Our goal is to help foster a safer central Illinois,” said Anne Fox, Chief Executive Officer of the Central Illinois Chapter. “This dynamic tool makes it easier for organizations to get started and to help improve the readiness level for those who already have plans in place.”

Red Cross chapters in Bloomington, Canton, Decatur, Macomb and Quincy are also encouraging their communities to be Ready in the Heartland through the Ready Rating Program.

More information about this valuable program can be found at readyrating.org.