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PRESS CONTACT INFO

ROBIN ERICKSON
Director of Communications

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(401) 831-7700 x101
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[email protected]

Tuesday, February 11, 2003
WHAT DOES 'LEVEL ORANGE' MEAN TO ME?
Red Cross Offers Tips for Families and Businesses to Prepare for Terror Threat

With America's terror threat level being raised to "High/Orange" for just the second time since the Homeland Security Advisory System was established nearly a year ago, the American Red Cross is urging Rhode Islanders to take steps to prepare for the unexpected.

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for more info

"If you're wondering 'What does Level Orange mean to me and my family?,' these are some practical tips on getting prepared," Nick Logothets, Director of Emergency Services for the American Red Cross of Rhode Island, said. "Living in New England, which is subject to hurricanes and bad winter storms, we hope that many Rhode Islanders have already taken many of these steps to prepare for a disaster. If they have not, however, now is the time."

Logothets recommends that businesses review the tips with employees and teachers share the information with students. The tips are also available at www.riredcross.org.

"Sit down with your family tonight after dinner and go over this information," Logothets says. "It is too hard to scramble around when a disaster strikes --- preparation is key."

Corresponding with the government's color-coded system, the Red Cross has tailored specific emergency readiness information for families, individuals, schools, neighborhoods and businesses relating at each of the five threat levels. Below are a summary of recommended actions for the "Orange" level:

Individuals

  • Review your Personal Disaster Plan.
  • Ensure your Disaster Supplies Kit is stocked and ready.
  • Develop alternate routes to and from work or school and practice them.
  • Exercise caution when traveling.
  • Have shelter-in-place materials on hand and review the procedure in Terrorism: Preparing for the Unexpected, a Red Cross brochure.
  • If a need is announced, donate blood at blood collection center (1-800-GIVE LIFE).
  • Prior to volunteering, contact blood collection agency to determine their needs.

Families

  • Review Family Disaster Plan with all family members.
  • Check items in your Disaster Supplies Kit and replace items that are outdated.
  • If not known to you, contact your child's school to determine their emergency notification and evacuation plans.
  • Ensure the emergency communication plan is understood and practiced by all family members.
  • Discuss children's fears concerning possible terrorist attacks.
  • Neighborhoods
    • Check on neighbors who are elderly or have special needs to ensure they are okay. Review their disaster plan with them.
    • If a need is announced, contact nearest blood collection agency and offer to organize a neighborhood blood drive.
  • Schools
    • Review the school's emergency plan that was developed using the Red Cross Emergency Guide for Business and Industry.
    • Ensure all emergency supplies are stocked and ready.
    • Offer Masters of Disaster "Facing Fear: Helping Young People Deal with Terrorism and Tragic Events" lessons in grades K-12.
    • Prepare to handle inquiries from anxious parents and media.
  • Businesses
    • Review the emergency plans, including continuity of operations and media materials on hand.
    • Ensure that the emergency communication plan is updated and includes the purchase of needed emergency equipment as detailed in the Red Cross Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry.
    • Determine any need to restrict access to the business or provide private security firm support/reinforcement.
    • Contact vendors/suppliers to confirm their emergency response plan procedures.
    • If need is announced, contact nearest blood collection agency about organizing a blood drive.

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