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March is American Red Cross Month

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Save a life. Give blood.

Victims of disasters large and small almost always enjoy relief provided by the Red Cross. But not everyone is aware of the myriad ways that the American Red Cross goes beyond delivering basic first-responder assistance to deliver essentials such as blood and related supplies, CPR, First Aid training and more.

To recognize the important role of this venerable organization, each March is classified as American Red Cross Month. American Red Cross Month has a 68-year history which began in 1943 during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, who was the honorary chairman of the Red Cross at the time. His goal of raising $125 million was surpassed when $146 million in gifts rolled in, prompting Roosevelt to call the effort “the greatest single crusade of mercy in all of history.”

Continuing the history of presidential promotion of the American Red Cross Month, President Obama recently released a proclamation that detailed the vital role the organization plays in disaster recovery efforts.

How you can help:

  • Host a blood drive for your tenants. As host, you only need to provide a location and publicize the event. The Red Cross will manage donations and distribute funds.
  • Distribute donation information. A great option for those who would rather remain behind the scenes, the Red Cross offers a video detailing this process.
  • If you are interested in donating platelets, plasma, or double red cells, drop by an American Red Cross Blood Donation Center.

Corporations and individuals can help support the American Red Cross through other means:

  • Donate your frequent flier miles! Major carriers including Continental, United, US Airways and Delta allow the transfer of miles to the American Red Cross to help cover travel expenses for Red Cross volunteers.
  • Donate Hotel Loyalty Points. Several major hotel chains offer the option of transferring guest points to the Red Cross so they can be used to accommodate people who are displaced by disasters.
  • Become a volunteer! A searchable database is available to help you discover volunteer opportunities in your area.
  • It’s important to get a sense of the scale of relief and services that are provided by the American Red Cross in order to understand the organization’s needs. The American Red Cross:
  • Responds to nearly 200 disasters a day throughout the United States.
  • Supplies blood and blood products to 3,000 hospitals.
  • Manages the 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • Alerts the public when supplies run low.
  • With 650 chapters and more than 30,000, the American Red Cross manages logistical and operational planning which requires considerable resources.

The American Red Cross is an integral part of our society, helping not only with large-scale disasters, but also assisting individuals who are involved in accidents and anyone who wants to prepare to administer First Aid.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit for more information and remember to BE SAFE.


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Three to Get Ready…and Four to Go!

Monday, December 13th, 2010
FEMA Resolve to Be Ready Logo

For 2011, resolve to be ready!

At Allied Universal, Inc., we stress the importance of being proactive about preventing disasters. Preparation is critical because, while it won’t necessarily stop every potential disaster from happening, it will aid your efforts to mitigate the damage and, we hope above all else, save lives.

As 2010 comes to an end, families and property managers and owners have a chance to consider some New Year’s safety resolutions. For some ideas, you can look to FEMA’s recently announced “Resolve to be Ready in 2011” campaign. This is great because, while we want you to be thinking about safety every day; New Year’s is the perfect time to commit to implementing change.

Whether you choose to use this post to help formulate a New Year’s resolution or to inspire ideas for safety-related holiday gift ideas, remember that safety equipment pays for itself 100-fold the minute it is needed.

For families, the Resolve- to-be-Ready Program promotes readiness in three simple steps. So schedule firm deadlines for each to ensure your family is covered:

1. Create a Family Emergency Plan.

  • Discuss plans with all members of the family, being careful to include younger children, who often think quickly in emergencies.
  • Establish a meeting place and ways to contact each other. Remember cell phones might not be operational. So plan for contingencies.
  • Involve neighbors, especially noting who children should contact during emergencies if parents are not present.

2. Create an Emergency Kit. (Here is a comprehensive list of kit-suggestions.)

  • Include documents such as emergency contact numbers, insurance information, and bank records.
  • Also, don’t forget flashlights and first aid supplies.
  • Don’t neglect your pets. They will need food.
  • For little children and infants, you should include diapers and related items. Be sure to check the kit contents on a regular basis, since 18-month-old children won’t fit into newborn diapers.

3. Be Disaster-Specific.

  • If you live in Southern California, you should create unique plans for wildfires, earthquakes, and maybe even mudslides.
  • Atlantic coastal residents should purchase NOAA radios for better hurricane awareness to help plan evacuation or shelter plans.
  • Make sure you plan for the natural disasters specific to your region of the world.

Need gift ideas for family members, employees or coworkers? You might get some funny looks. But safety preparedness gifts show that you truly care! Consider these suggestions, which are more creative and helpful than a tie or Chia Pet:

  • An Emergency Generator
  • New carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are now available even for the hearing impaired
  • Fire extinguishers are perfect for family members who spend long hours in the garage woodworking or tinkering with cars
  • A gift certificate for First Aid or CPR classes. If you an organization that offers these, create one of your own.

What can property owners and managers do to promote readiness?

  • Giving fruit cakes at the holiday party? Consider a safety-related item such as an earthquake kit or roadside emergency kit.
  • If a major disaster prevents your employees or tenants from going home, do you have sufficient supplies for an overnight stay? Resolve to build an adequate stockpile of ready-to-eat meals, blankets, and bottled water.
  • Encourage your employees to meet resolutions by developing fun incentives. Resolve to be Ready recommends employees sign safety related pledges and display them at their desks.

Unlike trying to lose weight or hitting the gym six times per week, safety and preparation resolutions are relatively simple and realistic to meet. Whether you are buying waterproof flashlights for Uncle Fred or offering free CPR classes at your office building, you can help others by encouraging them to focus on safety.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit for more information and remember to BE SAFE.