Partners in Preparedness: Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and American Red Cross Utah Region offer preparedness tips

September is National Preparedness Month, and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and the American Red Cross Utah Region are teaming up to encourage Utahns to think about their disaster preparedness and take action to ensure they are safe, healthy and prepared.

Personal preparedness: as easy as one, two, three

Research shows that only about one in 10 Americans has taken the steps necessary to prepare for an emergency. Take these three steps to begin to prepare your family.

1. Get a kit: Assemble emergency kits for each of your family members. Along with food, water and first aid supplies, include items such as vital prescription medications, important papers, pet supplies, contact lists and cash.

2. Make a plan. Talk with your family about potential disasters and create a plan for staying safe and remaining connected.

  • Identify at least two locations family members might meet up after a disaster (one within your neighborhood and one outside it).
  • Register yourself on the Red Cross Safe and Well website following a disaster to list yourself as “safe and well” or to search for information about friends and loved ones.

3. Be informed: Be aware of the types of disaster situations that might occur in your area, and make specific plans for dealing with them.

Safeguarding your health in a disaster

In a disaster situation, it’s likely you won’t have access to all of the medical resources you normally rely on (like a local pharmacy or easy access to your doctor). Taking a few extra steps ahead of time, though, can help ensure you and your family stays healthy in an emergency.

  • Include important medications and medical supplies (like hearing aids or eye glasses) in your emergency kit.
  • Along with important documents like birth certificates and passports, include copies of your family's personal medical records and all medications in your emergency kit.
  • Carry your health insurance card and emergency medical contact numbers at all times.
  • Protect yourself by ensuring your family's immunizations are up-to-date.
  • Download the official American Red Cross First Aid app (available on iPhone® and Android®) for expert advice for disasters and unexpected medical situations.

For more information and personal preparedness tips, visit www.redcross.org. You can also follow the American Red Cross Utah Region (@UtahRedCross) and Regence (@RegenceUtah) on Twitter.