ARC Engaging Western PA Residents in Youth Preparedness Week

Organization Encourages Families to Join Online Conversation at #PrepareWPA

DUBOIS – Today is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and across the country, individuals will be giving back to their neighbors and communities in honor of King’s legacy.

As a part of this day of service, and in an effort to engage youth in keeping their communities safe, the American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region will be participating in Youth Preparedness Week through Jan. 24. Through social media, Red Cross Clubs and youth volunteers, the local Red Cross will focus on reaching young people and their families with preparedness tips and information.

The local Red Cross encourages the community to join the online conversation by following and using the hashtag #PrepareWPA. Throughout the week, the local Red Cross will be sharing vital preparedness tips and emergency planning information as well as engaging with community members across the region.

Three prizes will be awarded to the community member who: posts the most creative preparedness content; demonstrates a strong understanding of what is means to be prepared; and retweets and/or shares the most messages under the #PrepareWPA hashtag. Winners will be announced online at the conclusion of the week.

Additionally, Red Cross Clubs and youth volunteers throughout Western Pennsylvania will spend the week engaging their schools and communities with various preparedness activities.

Only 43 percent of American families have an established household emergency plan, according to a recent FEMA report. In addition, while an out-of-town emergency contact person can be vital in helping disaster-affected people reconnect with loved ones or find temporary shelter, less than one in three Americans—only 32 percent—have an out-of-town emergency contact.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year across the nation – including more than 750 here in Western Pennsylvania – and most are smaller disasters such as home fires. When a disaster occurs, the Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to meet the immediate needs of those affected. All Red Cross disaster assistance is free to people affected by disasters.

Those wishing to learn more about making an emergency plan should join the online conversation with the local Red Cross this week or visit

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