From flooding to tornados to home fires, it’s impossible to know when disaster will strike.
What’s important is taking the necessary precautions to prevent accidents, and knowing how to respond in cases of emergency — otherwise known as being Red Cross Ready.
In Central Ohio, the most common disasters tend to be home fires, which usually are preventable and disproportionately affect the elderly and children. Home fires kill seven people every day in the U.S., and more than 60 percent of these deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms.
To address the more than 5 million homes without smoke alarms, the American Red Cross and fire departments are canvassing at-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace alarm batteries and provide fire prevention and safety education. Through the Home Fire Campaign and Sound the Alarm initiative, the goal is to reduce death and injury from home fires by 25 percent by 2020. So far, more than 1 million smoke alarms have been installed and more than 1 million people have been educated about home fires.
As a founding member of the Red Cross’ Annual Disaster Giving Program, Nationwide helps the organization with immediate resources to respond to disasters whenever and wherever they happen. For organizations calling the region home, supporting disaster relief efforts can serve as a team-building activity.
“Get your team involved by hosting a Red Cross training course such as First Aid and CPR,” suggests Mary Lynn Foster, CEO for the Ohio Buckeye Region of the American Red Cross. “Engage your employees in a meaningful services project through our Sound the Alarm campaign, installing free smoke alarms and educating our communities on fire safety. Encourage your employees to become Red Cross volunteers and make an impact right here in Central Ohio and beyond.”
Whether a parent or teacher, a teenager or senior citizen, there is applicable Red Cross training. Through the Sound the Alarm campaign alone, more than 431 lives have been saved, including 10 in Central Ohio.