Apartment Living Blog by Avalon AvalonBay’s Community Preparedness Week: Get Disaster Ready with Help from the Red Cross

American Red Cross Guest Message

The past year has reminded us all that no one is immune to disasters. In the United States, millions of people across the country have been affected by a relentless wave of devastating disasters – from hurricanes from record-breaking wildfires, historic storms and, of course, house fires – made worse by the pandemic. of COVID-19.

Through it all, the American Red Cross worked in countless ways to help disaster survivors, providing emergency shelter, hot meals, relief supplies, emotional support and resources to aid recovery. In addition to major disasters like wildfires and hurricanes, our volunteers have also responded to “everyday” disasters, like house fires, in communities across the country.

Since 2015, AvalonBay Communities, Inc. has been a member of our Disaster Response Program. Program members like AvalonBay pledge financial donations year-round before disasters to ensure our organization is ready to quickly and compassionately provide hope and help to those facing emergencies. . We simply could not fulfill our mission without this support.

As we see more frequent and more intense disasters, it is more important than ever that the Red Cross is ready to respond anytime, anywhere, and that people and communities are too ready to face the unexpected.

This is why we are so honored to be the featured charity partner of the AvalonBay Annual Conference. Community Readiness Week. Everyone knows that the Red Cross helps people in an emergency. But you might not know that it’s also part of our mission to help you prepare! We call it being “Red Cross Ready”.

Being “Red Cross ready” for an emergency means taking steps in advance to make sure you can get through a crisis safely. Disasters of all kinds can happen suddenly, anytime and anywhere, and you might only have a few seconds to react. While being prepared won’t prevent a disaster, it will give you the confidence you need to face the challenge.

And getting ready is easier than it looks! here is three simple actions anyone can take:

  1. Get a kit. First, build your Emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight and a battery-powered radio. Also include a first aid kit, medication, infant or pet supplies, a multi-tool, and personal hygiene items. And don’t forget to add copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, blankets, maps of the area, and emergency contact details.
  1. Make a plan. Next, plan what to do if you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you need to evacuate. Discuss how to prepare for and respond to the emergencies most likely to occur in your area, and be sure to coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work, and your community’s emergency plans.
  1. To be informed. Finally, plan to stay informed by finding out how local authorities will contact you in the event of a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders. Download the free Red Cross emergency app to put weather alerts and information safely in your hands. Search for “American Red Cross” in your mobile device’s app store or visit organization / applications.

You can also download and print this practical flyer with more information on the recommended steps above and a short ‘Ready to the Red Cross’ checklist. Due to COVID-19, stay current with advice and restrictions from your state and local public health authorities as it may affect your actions and available resources and facilities. And if you have to evacuate, remember to wear a mask and maintain social distancing to help stay as safe as possible.

People living in apartment buildings or multi-family dwellings need to be prepared for disasters of all kinds, just like homeowners do, but there are unique circumstances to consider when planning ahead. Consider the following:

  • Meet with your building management to learn more about your resort’s security features (such as fire alarms, sprinklers, voice communication procedures, evacuation plans for what residents are expected to do in the event of a emergency and how to react to an alarm).
  • Practice your escape plan and align your plans with protocols already in place.
  • In the event of a fire or other emergency, always use the stairs to exit, never the elevator. Be sure to practice using the stairs as part of your escape plan. If a family member is having difficulty walking down the stairs, be sure to include a contingency in your plan.
  • Know the locations of all available exit stairwells, as one or more exits may be blocked by fire or other emergency.
  • Know where to find manual fire alarm boxes (wall mounted alarm boxes with pull-up bar). Most are within five feet of an exit door.
  • Smoke from a fire can be poisonous and fatal. As you practice your escape plan, all family members should practice bending down and going through the smoke to the exit. In the event of a fire and you cannot escape safely, dial 9-1-1, include your apartment number and a description of your location. Open a window and wave a brightly colored rag or flashlight to call for help.
  • Get to know your neighbors, so you know who may need or can help in an emergency. Residents will likely congregate in common areas a safe distance from the emergency room. Working together helps everyone get through the emergency.

Now is also a good time to take action to help your community prepare for emergencies of all sizes as well. As an AvalonBay Associate or Resident, you are also a member of our Red Cross family, one of the largest and oldest humanitarian forces in the world. Of make an appointment to donate blood, volunteer to help in your community, Where learn rescue techniques, you can feel ready to help loved ones and neighbors when needed and have a significant impact on people’s lives.

In addition to the financial support that helps us respond to and prepare people for emergencies, AvalonBay – alongside your associates and residents – has also answered the call to help us keep the communities we serve strong. You have organized over 350 blood drives in your offices and communities, resulting in over 7,000 pints of blood. In addition, over 900 AvalonBay associates have volunteered for the Red Cross; Over 1,600 associates have received CPR training; and AvalonBay shared Red Cross preparedness tips and resources with over 146,000 residents and 3,000 associates.

While we cannot control all the challenges our communities face, together we can be better prepared to face them – and all the crises to come. Thank you for your commitment to disaster preparedness and your support for the mission of the Red Cross.

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