Regional team now delivers popular preparedness program online

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Most people know that American Red Cross teams regularly respond to disasters — both large and small — throughout the country, providing critical support to affected individuals, families, and communities. But the organization also works hard to help people prepare for disasters before they happen.

In fact, Red Cross volunteers regularly meet with business, school, and other community groups to promote the organization’s popular Be Red Cross Ready program and its three key elements: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to have the usual in-person “Be Red Cross Ready” (BRCR) sessions, the Northern California Coastal Region several weeks ago began hosting virtual BRCR presentations that are open to the public.

“Even a pandemic doesn’t reduce the importance of people also being prepared for fires, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters that year in and year out cause such devastation,” says Kerrin Welsh, this Red Cross region’s Preparedness Manager. “So, with shelter-in-place orders the new normal for the time being, it seemed important to figure out a new way to share this lifesaving preparedness information.”

The online BRCR sessions take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5 p.m. To accommodate differences in people’s schedules, sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays begin at 10 a.m. (The Friday sessions are also available in Spanish.)

The virtual sessions, which employ the easy-to-access Webex platform, have been lasting an hour or less. A phone-in option also exists for people without computers.

To attend any of the virtual sessions, please see the information on this web page: http://tinyurl.com/BRCRcovid

Each session also devotes some time to providing health-and-safety updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Welsh says.

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To see more stories and other content related to the Red Cross response to the coronavirus pandemic, please go here.