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Do you have an emergency plan?

Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 6:32 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 6:32 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — Emergency situations can happen in different forms — flooding, forest fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, to name just a few, according to Lori Compton, director of the American Red Cross of Bureau County.

On Monday, Compton said the time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens.

“Having a game plan in place is essential for all households, so everyone knows what they should do when an emergency occurs,” Compton said. “September is National Preparedness Month, which makes it a perfect time for families to create or update their emergency plan.”

Compton said it’s important everyone in the household helps put the emergency plan together, and each person should know what he/she should do if something occurs. Household members may not be together when a disaster happens, but may be at work or school if the emergency happens during the day.

Looking at some of the details of that plan, Compton said any emergency plan should include decisions about where family members would go if ordered to evacuate and what route they would take to get there. It’s a good idea to include alternate routes in case roads are closed, she said. Also, if pets are part of the household, make sure to include plans for them such as pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along the evacuation route.

Compton said the American Red Cross will be quick to respond to emergencies when they happen.

Looking at the ongoing Colorado flooding emergency, Compton said one Princeton woman is on stand-by to be deployed to Colorado. As of Monday, two Quad Cities area volunteers and an emergency response vehicle were to be deployed from the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area chapter office to the flood-devastated area.

Bureau County residents have several different options for giving financially to help the Red Cross in its disaster relief efforts, Compton said. People can send their donations to the Bureau County Red Cross office, and it will be forwarded to the national effort. When writing checks to the Red Cross, it’s important to write “Disaster Relief” on the memo line of the check but not to designate the money to any specific relief effort.

People can also donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to help with disaster relief efforts ,or they can also donate online.

Also, more information on Red Cross emergency preparedness tips is available through free mobile apps which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. In addition, information is available from the American Red Cross website.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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