Ready When the Time Comes, a new program from the American Red Cross and Grainger, launched at the Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna Saturday, Oct. 4, during a full-scale emergency shelter simulation. More than 100 newly trained volunteers participated from Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC) partners including AEP Ohio, Ashville Kiwanis, Circleville Kiwanis, Grainger, KPMG, Limited Brands, MRDD and Peace Lutheran Church.
A disaster scenario was played out. Some volunteers acted as residents forced to evacuate their homes because of heavy flooding while others practiced lessons they learned in Red Cross training as they opened, welcomed and fed clients at a Red Cross emergency shelter.
"We are incredibly excited about Ready When the Time Comes," commented Michael Carroll, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus. "It's a program that recognizes the need for trained volunteer disaster responders and the unique need...and desire ... of the corporate sector and community organizations to become a source of these volunteers."
Carroll continued, "As a Red Cross leader, the thing that keeps me awake at night is wondering whether our chapter will be ready when our sirens go off. The Ready When the Time Comes program is an opportunity to think about volunteers not one at a time ... but in groups of twenty or fifty or even a hundred. Partner companies and organizations recruit their own employees and members to get training in basic disaster response activities such as shelter operations, large-scale feeding efforts, logistics, and disaster assessment and then stand by, as teams, to respond when our community faces a major disaster."
Michael Sisk, Grainger vice president of Commercial Sales - East, applauded participants and said, "This is the largest turnout we've had at any of our Ready When the Time Comes launch events. I want to thank each and every one of you for sacrificing your time to come here and train so you can be ready when the time comes!"
Terri Flora, from AEP Ohio - the local lead sponsor of RWTC - commended the Red Cross for its dedication to the greater Columbus area and announced its donation of $50,000 to support the American Red Cross 2008 Hurricanes Disaster Relief Fund. About their sponsorship of Ready When the Time Comes, Flora said, "I challenge others to become involved. When disaster strikes, many ask, what can I do to help? The answer is simple. Join us and be ready when the time comes."
As national founding sponsor, Grainger presented the American Red Cross with a $1 million donation in 2006 to seed Ready When the Time Comes programs in 16 Red Cross chapters nationwide, including the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus. The program has quickly grown into an example of how businesses across the nation are getting involved to ensure their communities are prepared to respond when disasters strike. To date, more than 150 companies and organizations across the country have joined the program providing more than 5,000 trained volunteers.
Companies interested in becoming a Ready When the Time Comes partner should call (614) 253-2740 ext. 2561.
About the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus
The American Red Cross of Greater Columbus is dedicated to helping make families and communities safer. Sustained by over 700 volunteers, the Red Cross provides assistance to more than 500 families each year after home fires and other disasters strike. Last year the organization trained and educated more than 97,000 area residents in vital lifesaving skills like first aid, CPR and how to prepare for emergencies. The Red Cross also sent more than 800 emergency messages between members of the military and their families. The Community Transportation Program provides rides to medical appointments for seniors and individuals with disabilities, logging more than 19,600 trips last year. All these programs and more are made possible by the donations of time and money from the greater Columbus community.
Contributions may be mailed to the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, 995 East Broad St., Columbus, OH 43205. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting http://columbus.redcross.org. Companies interested in learning more about Ready When the Time Comes can call (614) 253-2740 ext. 2561.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), with 2007 sales of $6.4 billion, is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Panama. Through a highly integrated network including more than 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites, Grainger's employees help customers get the job done.
About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio. The company serves all or part of 61 counties in Ohio and two in West Virginia.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.