Preparing for Disruptions The one-year anniversary of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, Irma and others has arrived and it should remind us that households can be touched dramatically, without much warning. We are susceptible to disasters of all kinds and it is important to recognize how they can affect our lives. It is an important responsibility to plan for emergencies and other disruptions when the sky is blue, so to speak. The Red Cross urges everyone in our communities to focus on three main tasks, which form an Emergency Plan. First, with your family or household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play. A tsunami is not likely in central or southern Utah, so focus on the relevant disasters we face (wildfire, home fire, etc.). We can all encounter less catastrophic issues such as a power outage, so keep in mind anything that may cause a disruption in your daily or weekly schedule that is out of your control. Second, identify responsibilities for each member of your household and how you will work together as a team. An evacuation route and meeting points from your home can be drawn on a board and individuals can be assigned items to collect from the house if time allows (personal documents, 72-hr kit, baby formula, etc.). Third, practice as many elements of your plan as possible. Preparation is critical to survival. The Red Cross has made available many resources to help educate readers in proper preparation for (and response to) emergencies of all kinds. These include drought, fires, earthquakes, chemical emergencies, floods, flu, food safety, heat waves, highway safety, hurricanes, landslides, nuclear explosions, poisoning, power outages, terrorism, thunderstorms, tornados, tsunamis, volcanos, water safety, wildfires and winter storms. We encourage individuals, neighborhoods and communities to remain aware of potential threats to every day life, which may or may not be brought on by natural disasters. Be mindful of the need to prepare for any disruption or emergency, so you aren’t left guessing or putting your lives in danger when those events take place. For more information on how you can prepare for disasters and disruptions, visit www.redcross.org/get-help. We invite any who are interested in becoming Red Cross volunteers to contact the local Red Cross Chapter and participate in trainings. About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for- profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.