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Preparedness Essentials

The Ready Rating program is designed to help your business or organization get better prepared for emergencies. Below are the five cornerstone preparedness actions of the Ready Rating program. When you join the Ready Rating program, you'll get access to a detailed Ready Rating Program Guide that guides you through each of these steps. This condensed version of the Program Guide is designed to provide a snapshot of how the American Red Cross can help your business get better prepared.

The 123-point Red Cross Ready Rating 123 Assessment tool and Ready Rating 123 Program Guide are the result of a comprehensive review of preparedness recommendations conducted by the American Red Cross National Office of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services, the national Ready Rating team, and the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. All Ready Rating program steps and recommendations are grounded in scientific research, best practices and/or expert opinion from respected professionals representing multiple disciplines and perspectives.

1. Commit to preparedness

This step indicates your commitment to increasing your business' or organization’s level of emergency preparedness during the course of the calendar year. You will be working to make your business or organization more prepared and to enhance overall community preparedness. Key actions for this step include:

  • Having your business or organization make preparedness a priority by having senior leadership involved
  • Appointing a Ready Rating liaison dedicated to completing the 123 Assessment

2. Conduct a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment

This step involves gathering information about possible emergencies that could impact your business and your facility’s capabilities to respond to and recover from a disaster or other emergency. Key actions for this step include:

  • Knowing your region and the types of disasters most likely to impact your business
  • Obtaining a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment from your local emergency management agency
  • Considering which hazards your facility is most likely to experience, based on proximity and past events
  • Knowing your business or organization’s current capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster 
  • Assessing the physical capacity, supplies, equipment and human resources of your facility to resist damage during a disaster

3. Develop an emergency response plan

An emergency response plan describes the steps your business or organization will take to protect your business and employees before, during and after an emergency. Key actions for this step include:

  • Identifying an emergency planning committee that is responsible for developing and implementing an emergency response plan
  • Developing a written plan describing how your business or organization will respond during a disaster or medical emergency
  • Creating a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)

4. Implement your emergency response plan

This step involves continuing to work with the planning committee to implement the emergency response plan with employees. The key to implementing the plan is to make preparedness a part of the corporate culture. Key actions for this step include:

  • Training employees on a regular basis about what to do during a disaster or emergency
  • Acquiring and maintaining needed safety equipment and emergency preparedness supplies
  • Showing employees how to be prepared at work and at home so they are better equipped to help the business respond to and recover from an emergency
  • Conducting and assessing regular drills and exercises to determine the readiness of your employees and facilities

5. Help your community get prepared

Now that your company and employees are prepared, make at least one additional commitment to ensure that the overall community is prepared for a disaster or other emergency. Key actions for this step include:

  • Hosting blood drives
  • Contributing supplies and/or services to emergency response efforts
  • Adopting a local school or school district and support their disaster and emergency preparedness programs

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View a sampling of questions from the 123-point assessment? 

View a sample of the color-coded score card that is available as a result of taking the assessment?