Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 11:04 am | Partly Cloudy 63º


Are You Prepared? Take the Disaster Readiness Quotient Test

As Hurricane Gustav fades and Hurricanes Hanna and Ike approach, the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter says it’s the ideal time for county residents to review their disaster and emergency planning.

As part of its mission to provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies, the Red Cross chapter offers resources to help residents prepare for a house fire, flood, wildfire, earthquake, mudslide or other natural and/or human-made disaster. 

Residents are asked to go online at www.sbredcross.org to take a one-minute Disaster Readiness Quotient Test to measure just how prepared they are. 

Individuals, families, schools, the workplace and communities can use this survey to gauge their level of preparedness, recognize their successes and identify gaps where more work needs to be done. 

After scoring their preparedness level, participants will learn the specific steps they need to take now to better prepare. Categories of preparedness include building an emergency preparedness kit, creating a family evacuation plan of where to meet if they get separated during a disaster and designing a communication plan of how to get in touch with each other should an emergency strike. 

In the coming months, the Red Cross chapter will release the local results, comparing the preparedness of Santa Barbara County residents with those who took this national survey. 

Nationally, here is where America stands:

» Most Americans (63 percent) have taken a first aid class.

» Forty-two percent have a disaster supply kit at home.

» Thirty-six percent have a portable emergency kit in case of evacuation.

» Twenty-nine percent have a communication plan.

» Twenty-one percent have set a meeting place in case of separation during an emergency.

» Twenty-six percent have practiced or drilled what to do in the event of an emergency.

» Fifteen percent have volunteered to help prepare for or respond to an emergency.

Marjorie Wass is a public relations representative for the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter.

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