Emergencies often occur without warning–are you prepared?

Firefighters from the garrison and Stuttgart attend to simulated injuries during a past disaster exercise on Kelley Barracks. Photo by USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

American Red Cross
Stuttgart Station

Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime. They can even begin in your own home – and they often do. Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross responds to a disaster, and the vast majority of these are home fires.

By having an emergency plan and kit, families can react quickly when a fire or other emergency strikes. The Red Cross encourages everyone to take three important action steps to get prepared:

Build a kit – Build an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you if you must evacuate. Include items such as water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, first aid kit and medications.

Make a plan – Talk with members of your household about what to do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case you are separated and choose two places to meet—one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home.

Be informed – Know what kinds of emergency situations may occur where you live, where you work, and where you go to school. Get trained in First Aid and CPR/AED so you’ll know what to do in an emergency if help is delayed. Don’t forget your pets, plan for them too.

You can also download Red Cross apps. The Red Cross Emergency App has more than 35 customizable severe weather and emergency alerts. Information on what to do before, during and after emergencies from power outages to home fires, to hurricanes and tornadoes, can be viewed in English or Spanish.

Parents can download “Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies” app so 7- to 11-year-olds will have a fun, gaming environment to learn how to prevent emergencies and what to do if one occurs. Apps can be downloaded for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in app stores or visiting redcross.org/apps. You can also enable Red Cross skills for Alexa.

As you add to your preparedness knowledge and supplies, also consider donating blood, which helps medical professionals prepare to help those in need. Each day, the Red Cross must collect about 13,000 blood donations and more than 2,500 platelet donations to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients and children with blood disorders.

Here in Stuttgart, you’ll have a chance to provide that lifesaving support through a blood drive Nov. 19 and 20 at Patch Community Club and Panzer Fitness Center, respectively. The Red Cross and the AFBP are sponsoring the event. Learn more and register to donate at the Red Cross Stuttgart Station’s Facebook page, under events. Walks-ins will be welcome, or you can also make an appointment at www.militarydonor.com (sponsor code Stuttgart).