Red Cross Ready Rating Program for Schools

The American Red Cross Ready Rating program is a free, self-guided program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. It provides information and tools in a simple, actionable way, and publicly acknowledges its members for their commitment to improving preparedness with a recognition seal that can be displayed in their place of operation. Members complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness, gain access to tips and best practices, and commit to improving their score each year to maintain continual membership.

How It Works

The Ready Rating Program provides information and tools in a simple, pro-active way, by providing a cost-free framework for businesses, organizations, and schools to prepare for all kinds of emergencies:

  • Providing schools with a safety stipend
  • Making readiness measurable and visible
  • Supplying information and resources
  • Recognizing members for their efforts
  • Maintaining confidentiality of all assessments
  • Renewing membership annually

The Five Cornerstone Preparedness Actions of the Ready Rating Program

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

  • Having your school 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 school’s capabilities to respond to, and recover from, a disaster or other emergency. Key actions for this step include:

  • Know your region and the types of disasters most likely to impact your school
  • Obtain a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment from your local emergency management agency
  • Consider which hazards your school is most likely to experience, based on both proximity and past events
  • Know your school’s current capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster
  • Assess 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 school will take to protect your students and employees before, during and after an emergency. Key actions for this step include:

  • Identify an emergency planning committee that is responsible for developing and implementing an emergency response plan
  • Develop a written plan that describes how your school will respond during and after a disaster or medical emergency
  • Create 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 school culture. Key actions for this step include:

  • Train staff on a regular basis about what to do during a disaster or emergency
  • Acquire and maintain needed safety equipment and emergency preparedness supplies
  • Show staff how to be prepared at work and at home, so they are better equipped to help the school respond to and recover from an emergency
  • Conduct and assess regular drills and exercises to help determine the readiness of your staff and facilities

5. Help Your Community Get Prepared:
Now that your school and staff 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:

  • Host blood drives
  • Contribute supplies and/or services to emergency response efforts
  • Adopt another local school or school district, and support their disaster and emergency preparedness programs

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