The American Red Cross and W.W. Grainger are expanding their "Ready When the Time Comes" program for enhancing disaster preparedness in disaster-prone areas of the United States. An additional 10 chapters of the Red Cross will join the program in 2011, bringing the total participating Red Cross chapters to 51.
The Ready When the Time Comes program is a workplace volunteer initiative in which the American Red Cross trains employees of local businesses who can be mobilized as a community-based volunteer force when disasters strike. It began in 2001 as a partnership between the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and Grainger, the national founding sponsor of the program. Today, more than 11,000 employees representing 450 businesses and organizations in 41 communities across the country have been trained as disaster volunteers through the program.
The expansion was announced in coordination with National Preparedness Month, designated each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.