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What is Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC)?

Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC) is a program of the American Red Cross. The purpose is to prepare teams of corporate employees to be ready immediately to help in a time of a local, large-scale disaster. RWTC volunteers serve as “reserves” that can be called when disaster response requires more than the normal corps of chapter volunteers.

Why is RWTC needed?

Each year, the American Red Cross responds to over 70,000 disaster incidents – hurricanes, fires, storms, floods, tornados, explosions, etc. – serving those affected with shelter, mass care and financial assistance. The Central Maryland Chapter responds to three fires a day. This requires not only Red Cross employees and trained disaster volunteers but also specially-trained, quickly mobilized volunteers who can fill specific needs. RWTC is designed to recruit and prepare those volunteers.

How does RWTC work?

Companies partner with their local Red Cross chapter, recruiting employees as volunteers who then are trained by the chapter as disaster-response volunteers. Partner companies commit to making these employees available for service at least one day per year. When a local, large-scale disaster occurs, the Red Cross contacts their RWTC company liaisons, who then call their RWTC employee volunteers into action. The chapter then assumes responsibility for their deployment and management.

What are RWTC volunteers trained to do?

RWTC volunteers are trained in basic disaster response and will receive general orientation to the Red Cross, and Mass Care Overview which touches in areas such as:
• Sheltering
• Feeding
• Bulk Distribution
• Community Programs
• Other services, as needed by the local Red Cross Chapter
Optional: Disaster Education, *CPR and *First Aid training. (*Fees will apply)

How do local RWTC Partner companies benefit?

Partner companies benefit in a number of ways, including:

• Supporting employees in their desire to help, particularly in times of great local need, which in turn raises employee morale, increases loyalty and helps companies retain valuable employees;
• Visibility – companies are seen to be a supportive community partner, which leads to good public opinion toward the company as being socially responsible;
• RWTC associates the name of the company and brand with one of the most trusted and charitable organizations in the world, the American Red Cross;
• RWTC program flexible to your companies mission/needs.
• RWTC companies are acknowledged in the Central Maryland Chapter’s communication materials – including website and newsletters.

What is required of RWTC Partners?

Partner companies are asked to:

• Sign a letter of agreement, the content of which is jointly developed with the chapter, which helps establish the partnership;
• Identify primary and secondary coordinators for the RWTC Program who can be available as contacts for the chapter and, in turn, to activate their volunteer teams;
• Take the lead in recruiting their employees as volunteers to fill specific needs identified by the chapter; Informational sessions for employees are available.
• If applicable, provide logistical support and space for training of their RWTC volunteers by the Red Cross;
• Allow their volunteers to respond to a deployment request during normal work hours if required;
• Allow their volunteers to participate in at least one mock disaster drill each year.

What do RWTC employee volunteers gain?

RWTC volunteers gain vital training enabling them to assist in a large-scale disaster. Participating in the RWTC Program increases confidence, as well as involving employees in meaningful and rewarding volunteer work. Volunteers have the opportunity to make a real difference in their community, meet new friends, and learn new skills.

If you have additional questions or would like to sign your workplace or organization up as a Ready When the Time Comes volunteer sponsor contact Program Coordinator at 410-624-2000 ext. 2028 today.


National Founding Sponsor


Local Lead Sponsor