CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new initiative is working to get your community ready to handle any disaster from the inside before outside help arrives.
From flooding and ice storms at home, to hurricanes far away, Maggi Makins has seen it all as a Red Cross Volunteer. She's seen first-hand what a difference it makes when communities have a plan in place.
"These people have a long recovery," she said. "It's like where do I go now, what do I do now. It makes tons of difference."
According to Beth Seaubaugh, Red Cross assessments showed 40 percent of individuals were not prepared, so they knew it was important for community leaders to have a plan to go to work for their own immediately when disaster strikes, before outside teams even mobilize.
Their resilience initiative does that. The organization decided to launch the initiative where weather hit hardest in recent years. They're already working with areas like Pin Hook, Birds Point, Morehouse and parts of Carter County.
Seabaugh said the grant funded work helps communities become sustainable.
Even if your town isn't covered by the project now, Seabaugh said the Red Cross can help you get started with information to prepare your community, so when a storm tries to blow you apart, your neighbors can pull you together.
"It is usually not a matter of if something happens but when, so we feel this is really important for every town," said Seabaugh.
For more information on helping your community prepare, get items for disaster kits and find ways to volunteer, you can click here to visit the Red Cross online.