What do you think constitutes a disaster? Certainly, people think of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. However, disasters also include events like extended power blackouts, house fires or floods. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, with little or no warning, but it's possible to be better prepared. Research from the Federal Emergency Management Agency found that 85 percent of Americans are not prepared for potential disasters, which inspired The Allstate Foundation and Points of Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, to bring an in-person emergency preparedness program to communities across the country.
The Allstate Foundation is giving people access to 10,000 disaster preparedness kits during a multi-city tour that kicked off last month in Colorado and Georgia. During each kit-building event, attendees build their own starter kit and receive information from organizations like the Red Cross. Each of the kits includes a hand-crank flashlight, rain poncho, water bottle, dust mask, garbage bags, whistle and hand sanitizer.
Additionally, volunteers from Points of Light's Hands On Network and local Allstate agency owners are present to answer questions and provide additional tips on ways local residents can get prepared for disasters.
"It doesn't matter what disaster you might be faced with, you can be prepared with just a few simple actions," said Vicky Dinges, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Allstate. "Having a plan, building a kit, and talking to your family can make all the difference during a disaster. We owe ourselves and our families' peace of mind, and building a disaster kit this summer is one way to do that."
Disaster preparedness events are planned for the following cities:
Indianapolis, Ind. Tampa, Fla. Baton Rouge, La. Portland, Ore. Springfield Township, N.J. Houston, Texas Portland, Maine Baltimore, Md. Long Island, N.Y. Los Angeles, Calif. Salt Lake City, Utah Milwaukee, Wis.
In addition to the kit-building events, The Allstate Foundation is a founding partner of the Good & Ready program. It provides important safety information to help people be aware of the risks in their lives and protect themselves and their loved ones. To learn more about this unique online program, visit www.GoodandReady.org.
The Allstate Foundation offers the following three steps to help your family prepare for a disaster:
Step 1: Build your disaster preparedness kit If disaster strikes, you'll want to have supplies to help you and your family (including your pets) survive for at least three days. Your disaster preparedness kit should contain these basic supplies:
Water (one gallon per person, per day)
Ready-to-eat, nonperishable food (for family members and pets)
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
Battery-powered or hand-crank flashlight
Whistle (to signal for help)
Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape
Plastic garbage bags with ties
Wrench or pliers
Local maps (to locate emergency services and shelters)
Step 2: Create your household emergency plan A household emergency plan should include the following information:
Emergency contact names and numbers – mobile and landline (As an extra precaution, everyone in your family should program "In Case of Emergency," or ICE, contacts in their mobile phones so emergency personnel can contact them if needed)
Family meeting place in your neighborhood and an alternative meeting place in the region
Personal details for each family member (date of birth, important medical information, recent photos)
Addresses and phone numbers of the places family members frequent on a regular basis (work, school)
Contact information for medical providers (doctors, pharmacist, veterinarian)
Important medical and insurance information, including prescription drugs and photocopies of your medical insurance card(s)
Step 3: Help your community get ready for a disaster The strength of a community comes from each person who lives in it. By raising your hand to help your community prepare for a potential disaster, you can help people respond to and recover from an emergency situation.
Visit www.GoodandReady.org, go to the "Resources" page, and then click "Get Trained" to find a disaster volunteer team near you.
About The Allstate Foundation Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people's well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.