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American Red Cross Launches Ready Rating Program to Prepare Businesses and Schools for Emergencies in 16 U.S. Cities from Coast to Coast


Generous $2.1 Million Donation from Anheuser-Busch Foundation Expands Program Across the Nation

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Red Cross has launched a new one-of-a-kind Ready Rating program to help both schools and businesses in U.S. cities with their emergency planning and preparedness efforts.

Schools and businesses can face a number of emergencies that threaten to disrupt their operations, ranging from natural disasters to the possible widespread H1N1 flu virus that looms this fall and winter. In fact, one in four businesses that are forced to close because of a disaster never reopen. Ready Rating can help businesses from becoming part of those statistics.

The Red Cross Ready Rating program offers free memberships to businesses and schools, which can use an online checklist to measure and score their current preparedness annually. Members maintain their membership by developing and implementing an emergency response plan and improving their overall score each year.

“Business leaders and school officials know how important it is to be ready for an emergency, but they often don’t take the right steps to prepare because they don’t know where to start or they do not have the time,” said Joe White, Red Cross senior vice president for chapter services. “This program was created to give businesses and schools an easy starting point so they can feel more confident about the safety of employees and students. Ready Rating is good for businesses and schools, good for employees and students, and good for the local communities.”

Ready Rating first began as a project of the American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis Red Cross and is now being rolled out to 16 other cities as a result of a $2.1 million grant from Anheuser-Busch, the founding sponsor of the program and first company to implement it.

“Whether it’s hurricanes on the coast, tornadoes and floods in the Midwest or wildfires and earthquakes in the west, businesses and individuals need to stand ready,” said Dave Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch. “No American city is immune to natural disasters, and Anheuser-Busch has a long history of supporting disaster relief and the commendable work of the American Red Cross. We believe preparedness is the first step to keep our employees and businesses safe, and as the founding member of the Ready Rating Program, we are proud to lead the effort to make this available to other communities around the country.”

More information about the program can be found at


 American Red Cross
 Ready Rating Program

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