By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Since Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday was designated by Congress as a Day of Service in 1994, thousands of projects have been developed to answer the question he asked, “What are we doing for others?” The Red Cross is focusing on fire prevention.

Each year the agency responds to about 70,000 disasters – and more than 90% are fire- related. In more than 35 cities volunteers will canvass neighborhoods and talk with residents and distribute materials on fire prevention.

They will go door-to-door, personally talking about how to prevent fires and create an emergency plan. According to a FEMA, only 43% of American families have a household emergency plan and fewer have an out-of-town contact who can be helpful in an emergency.

The day will kick-off Youth Preparedness Week, January 20-24, reaching young people through social media.

Bringing people together for a purpose was Dr. King’s dream of building community.

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