The American Red Cross today announced a newly designed website, ReadyRating.org, to help businesses, schools and other organizations better prepare for emergencies.
Ready Rating is a free, self-paced, web-based membership program that helps a business or school measure how ready they are to deal with emergencies, and gives customized feedback on how they can improve their efforts.
Schools and businesses may face a number of emergencies that could disrupt their operations, ranging from natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods to outbreaks of illness such as the flu. The Ready Rating Program can help them feel more confident about the safety of their employees and students.
"Emergencies can strike without warning and unfortunately, we have many real-life examples here and abroad from just the past few weeks that remind us of the importance of being prepared – whether it is the Japan earthquake and tsunami, flooding in the Midwest, or the record number of tornadoes that devastated Alabama and other communities throughout the South." said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. "Everyone needs to play a role in disaster preparedness, and Ready Rating helps businesses and organizations take action to understand if they are ready for an emergency."
Ready Rating begins with members completing an online comprehensive self-assessment at ReadyRating.org. Upon completion, every organization gets a customized scorecard which evaluates how prepared they are and steps they can take to improve their readiness planning. The assessment covers items from hazard vulnerability to continuity of operations and employee readiness. Ready Rating is also consistent with Private Sector or PS-Prep Standards developed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Ready Rating also encourages businesses and schools to work with their employees, students and families to get prepared at home. A 2009 Red Cross survey* showed that 51 percent of Americans have experienced at least one emergency situation where they lost utilities for at least three days, had to evacuate, could not return home or communicate with family members. Although 89 percent of those surveyed believe it is important to be prepared for emergencies, far fewer are actually taking the steps necessary to prepare.
More information about this new preparedness program for schools and businesses can be found at www.ReadyRating.org.