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The Amerian Red Cross Offers ReadyRating

Courtesy of The American Red Cross. © 2015 The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.

All photos in this post provided as a courtesy of The American Red Cross. © 2015 The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.

We, at the Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, frequently work side-by-side, with an iconic disaster relief agency – the American Red Cross. Although the agency is always at the front lines of a disaster and is best known in that regard, its mission extends beyond immediate relief into disaster preparedness and education, much like our own.

Why is disaster planning so important for business owners? According to FEMA, 40% of small businesses will not reopen following a disaster, a sobering statistic, which illustrates both the challenge in managing a small business and the severe impact disasters can have on otherwise potentially successful companies.

The American Red Cross Rating Program

Courtesy of The American Red Cross. © 2015 The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.

ReadyRating is designed to help schools, companies, and other organizations prepare for disasters. This free service provides members with access to information about how to both evaluate and improve their disaster planning procedures and save lives… something that we strive to do through our own training modules.

The ReadyRating is promoted by agencies such as the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), an agency with which we are proud to partner. We are pleased to join agencies such as LAFD to encourage businesses to participate in the Red Cross program, in order to gauge and improve their disaster readiness. Free membership into ReadyRating provides users with a dashboard that helps them evaluate their level of preparedness. Customized feedback is based on assessment scores, as well as the ability to create an “Organization Manager” with linked member-accounts. The steps and recommendations found within ReadyRating are adopted from scientific research and expert opinions from noted industry professionals.

Courtesy of The American Red Cross. © 2015 The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.

ReadyRating features a three-step process for participating members:

  1. Conduct an Assessment

Organizations can choose either a “ReadyGo” assessment or a “ReadyAdvance” assessment to determine preparedness. The ReadyGo 25-question version is basic, designed to help companies see the most critical steps they should undertake to best manage disasters. The ReadyAdvance plan is more in-depth, with 60 questions. More comprehensive in nature, ReadyAdvance results effectively measure the merits of an organization’s existing preparedness plan, and provides users with roadmaps for improving their existing plans.

The assessment contains five sections that score the preparedness level of the company, including level of current emergency planning, commitment to preparedness, knowledge of hazards, implementation of the plan, and resiliency of the community.

  1. Create a Well-Informed Emergency Plan

ReadyRating features a template generator that utilizes the company’s assessment information to create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), specific to the company. The plans are OSHA-compliant, which is a primary concern for businesses required to meet OSHA regulations.

  1. Leverage Expert Resources

Courtesy of The American Red Cross. © 2015 The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.

The final component of the plan is to encourage businesses to utilize Red Cross resources such as emergency preparedness guides, checklists, and other tools. For example, the resource center on the Red Cross website includes disaster drill forms, emergency contact card templates, and a step-by-step guide for organizing a blood drive. The resources, including videos and guides, are designed to be actionable – offering clear advice to companies that want to strengthen their disaster planning.

Remember that safety is a daily priority, so be sure to think about disaster planning all of the time. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about our system, or to subscribe, click here.

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