CHATTANOOGA,TN (WRCB) -- With tropical storms and hurricanes swirling around in the Atlantic, they serve as a vivid reminder that September is National Preparedness Month.

The American Red Cross East Tennessee Region has several tools to allow creation of a family disaster plan to be ready for the next emergency or disaster.

Plans should include designating a meeting place outside the home in the event of a sudden emergency like a fire, an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can't go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach other household members.

Red Cross tools make it easier for people to make or update plans. The American Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone or Android smart phones helps people create a plan, share it with household members and over social networks. A variety of preparedness tear sheets are available to print at to help anyone build a plan.


The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.

  • Be Red Cross Ready is an online tutorial that teaches people to be ready for emergencies.
  • Red Cross Ready Rating is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.
  • The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.
  • Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.
  • Visit for information on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.