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April 2013

Safe in the Sound

NWREporter April 2013

By NWREporter

April 2013

Disasters affect Puget Sound residents every day, and preparedness is a critical factor in the ability to respond during an emergency and recover.

Red Cross logoConsider these facts:

  • The American Red Cross responds to about 70,000 disasters each year, ranging from catastrophic earthquakes to home fires and medical emergencies.
  • Washington state is second only to California in risk of infrastructure damage and economic loss due to earthquakes.
  • Quick response to a choking child or a colleague who has gone into cardiac arrest may mean the difference between life and death. In fact, for each minute CPR and defibrillation are delayed, the person's chance for survival is reduced by about 10 percent.
  • In recent years, catastrophic earthquakes have killed hundreds of thousands of people and caused billions of dollars in damage worldwide.
  • During 2011 alone, 14.9 million people around the world were displaced due to natural disasters. The 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami serve as powerful reminders of the need for individuals, neighborhoods and businesses to prepare.
  • Every $1 invested in preparedness saves more than $6 in post-disaster recovery and response costs, yet less than 25 percent of Western Washington residents surveyed say they are actually prepared.

To help local individuals and organizations prepare for when - not if - the next crisis strikes, the American Red Cross and its partners developed a Safe in the Sound preparedness campaign. It will help individuals and communities throughout the region and coastal communities build their capacity to withstand, quickly adapt to and successfully recover from disasters - large and small.

The preparedness campaign is based on four simple steps: 1) get a kit; 2) make a plan; 3) be informed; and 4) get trained.

The Safe in the Sound website offers numerous tips, materials and resources in multiple languages to help individuals, families and communities prepare for every type of disaster. An online store has preparedness kits, first aid guides and supplies, books, videos and other items.

Public preparedness training sessions are also available.