Organizations understand the need for being prepared and ready for disasters, but often consider the process for getting better prepared as cumbersome and complicated. Since its inception in 2008, the Ready Rating program has been recognized by preparedness experts as the much needed, easy to understand and not intimidating solution for helping an organization take the steps to become prepared to respond to and successfully withstand a disaster and other emergencies.
Created in 2008 by the St. Louis Area Chapter, Ready Rating was originally designed as a marketing tool that would help to open doors and allow conversations to take place within businesses, organizations and schools about how to better prepare for emergencies. However, the program became much more than that in a short amount of time. In 2009 the St. Louis Area Chapter was joined by American Red Cross chapters in the following eight (8) cities for a two-year pilot: New York, NY; Chicago, IL; Raleigh, NC; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Dallas, TX; and, New Orleans, LA.
With the financial support of the Ready Rating National Founding Sponsor, Anheuser Busch, the nine (9) pilot chapters have demonstrated that the Ready Rating program is valued by it members, and helps businesses, organizations and schools improve their levels of preparedness. This is demonstrated by an average increase in members’ Ready Rating assessment score of 14% the first year, and a dramatic 50% in the second year!
In 2010, management of the Ready Rating program was transitioned to American Red Cross national headquarters, and with the addition of Sam’s Club as a National Sponsor, several enhancements to the Ready Rating website and tools were added to the program. The enhancements include a streamlined process for new members to sign up and begin using the program, an update of the assessment to better align with the Department of Homeland Security Private Sector Preparedness Guidance (PS-Prep), and increased capacity to make the Ready Rating program available nationwide. Beginning in February 2011, these enhancements will now be available to more organizations while providing an even better experience for current Ready Rating member organizations!