Preparing Families for Emergencies
By John Gareis, Regional Preparedness Manager
Most people believe that on the First Day of Christmas the appropriate gift to give is a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Well the American Red Cross believes in building Disaster Resilient Neighborhoods during the Holiday Season as well throughout the year.
To help you select stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts designed to make individuals, families and the homes they live in as safe as possible, the American Red Cross has put together the following recommendations for gifts for the Twelve Days of Christmas.
On the First Day of Christmas
On the First Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you install a SMOKE ALARM. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home; outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall, at the top of open stairways and at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen. It is important to check your Smoke Alarms every month and replace their batteries annually. The life expectancy of ALL smoke alarms is 10 years – the sensors wear out.
On the Second Day of Christmas
On the Second Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you install a CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM. Carbon Monoxide Alarms should be placed in hallways throughout the home. They should also be placed in recreational vehicles and on boats.
On the Third Day of Christmas
On the Third Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you install a FIRE EXTINGUISHER in your home. Install A-B-C type Fire Extinguishers in the home and teach all household members how to use them.
On the Fourth Day of Christmas
On the Fourth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you install a FIRE ESCAPE LADDER. Homes with more than one floor should have at least one Fire Escape Ladder stored on all floors, other than ground level. Store these ladders where they are easily accessible.
On the Fifth Day of Christmas
On the Fifth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you assemble a FAMILY DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT. A family will cope best by preparing for emergencies before they occur. One way to prepare is by assembling a Family Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won’t have time to shop and search for supplies.
On the Sixth Day of Christmas
On the Sixth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you assemble a PET SUPPLIES KIT. Pets enrich the lives of individuals and families in more ways than you can count. In turn they depend on people for their safety and well-being. Having a Pet Disaster Supplies Kit is one of the best ways to care for pets when disaster strikes.
On the Seventh Day of Christmas
On the Seventh Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you acquire a WEATHER RADIO. As the voice of the National Weather Service, a Weather Radio provides continuous broadcasts of the latest weather information directly from a National Weather Service Forecast Office. During severe weather routine broadcasting is interrupted and special watch and warning messages are issued.
On the Eighth Day of Christmas
On the Eighth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you get a FIRST AID KIT. Because the first five minutes of a medical emergency are critical, every individual and family should have a First Aid Kit in their home and vehicle and on your boat.
On the Ninth Day of Christmas
On the Ninth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you attend FIRST AID AND CPR TRAINING. For more than a century, the Red Cross has been saving lives with Health and Safety Services education programs. A unique idea for a Christmas Stocking would be a Gift Certificate for a First Aid and CPR Training course.
On the Tenth Day of Christmas
On the Tenth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you purchase HOUSE NUMBERS. Each home should have its number posted clearly on the front door, over the doorway, or elsewhere on the front so emergency responders can easily locate it. Lives and property can be saved simply by adequate house numbers where emergency workers can find them as quickly as possible.
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you purchase a FLASHLIGHT. As simple as a Flashlight is, it can become a very important tool during and after disaster strikes. Every Family Disaster Supplies Kit should contain a Flashlight and spare batteries.
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you create an EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN. Each home should have a list of Emergency Phone Numbers posted near the phone or in the front of a phone book.
For additional information on these and other safety tips visit: