When disaster strikes, every second counts. In the wake of this summer’s devastating Louisiana flooding and western U.S. wildfires, U-Haul and charitable partner American Red Cross are reminding everyone that September is National Preparedness Month. The objective is to encourage people to formulate an emergency plan and be ready for any type of disaster.
Here are five easy ways to ensure that you and your family are prepared year-around when faced with a sudden emergency:
U-Haul and the Red Cross encourage families to create a disaster strategy. “Most families who are faced with a sudden emergency are not as prepared as they would like to be,” said Michelle Houlihan, Red Cross divisional senior corporate and foundation officer. “By planning ahead, you can ensure that you and your family have the essential items and knowledge necessary to get through a crisis.”
Have supplies handy
When flood waters rise and personal belongings need to be safely moved, stored and protected, U-Haul moving supplies can save the day. Customers can rent a U-Haul Ready-To-Go Box℠, which is a water-resistant, plastic box designed to keeping belongings safe and secure. U-Haul also offers a variety of traditional boxes and tarps for additional protection.
Emergency first aid and survival kits
Each home should be equipped with the proper medical supplies and essentials needed in the event of an emergency. Supplies such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, medications and first-aid items should be kept in an easy-to-carry kit that can be used at home or taken on the road. Check out the full list of suggested emergency supplies.
Check your fire alarms
In the U.S., the biggest disaster threat to families is home fires. On average, seven people die every day as a result of a home fire. Most deaths can be prevented with the installation and upkeep of smoke detectors. “We respond to roughly 70,000 disasters across the country each year, and more than 90 percent of those are home fires,” Houlihan said. “We are urging you to make sure your household is safe and prepared for disasters, large and small.”
Make sure propane is topped off
U-Haul urges customers to ensure tanks are full in the event of long-term power outages caused by storms and other emergencies. U-Haul has the largest network of propane filling stations in the U.S. and has been the largest U.S. retailer of propane for nearly 30 years. Find a propane refill station near you.
U-Haul and the Red Cross have been helping communities in times of disaster for many years. Building on the foundation of a longstanding relationship, U-Haul became an official Red Cross Disaster Responder in 2015.
The partnership allows the Red Cross access to U-Haul Company’s range of resources including equipment, storage and easily reachable U-Haul locations with an infrastructure encompassing all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces.
To learn more about the Red Cross or to make a donation, please visit redcross.org.