Are you prepared for a home fire? Test yourself

Did you realize that, on average, the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio responds to 2.5 home fires every night? While one piece of our mission is to help families displaced by these and other disasters, many households can help themselves by becoming more aware of how to reduce their chances of experiencing a fire.

2014 Katie with Fire VICTIM

In fact, the Red Cross and its local and national partners have launched the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years.

Test yourself with this handy quiz to determine what you have covered, and what you and your family may need to work on.

The Red Cross is asking every household in America to join us in taking two simple steps that can save lives: checking or installing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

Join the Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency in the second annual PrepareAthon on September 30

Join us for the second annual America’s PrepareAthon! national day of action.

The last few years have been an important reminder to all of us that disasters can strike anytime and anyplace. Nearly every region of the country experienced some form of extreme weather event, including devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma, scorching wildfires throughout California, and destructive flooding in Northeastern Ohio.

The destructive power of weather affects all communities. Learning how prepare for an emergency will help determine your course of action during a disaster.

The destructive power of weather affects all communities. Learning how prepare for an emergency will help determine your course of action during a disaster.

As with many life events, preparation is the key to success. When you prepare and practice for an emergency in advance of an event, it makes a real difference in your ability to take immediate and informed action when it matters most. Early action can also help you to recover more quickly.

That’s why thousands of individuals, organizations, schools, houses of worship, and local governments across the Nation are actively participating in a new national campaign for action – America’s PrepareAthon!

The Red Cross continues to support and promote this action-based initiative to build a more resilient Nation starting with the national day of action on September 30.

Can’t participate on September 30? Preparing for disasters is a year-round activity. So pick a date that works for you. You can still register to be counted in the movement. And be sure to post your preparedness activities on the national calendar.

It’s not a matter of if the next disaster will happen, but when. Take action and prepare now by completing simple steps such as making a plan and having an emergency kit. Start the conversation in your family today. It can help determine what you need to do next to become more prepared.

Be smart, take part, and prepare for emergencies before they strike!

Give 10 hours, help your community

Look for our volunteers on Dawg Pound Drive just outside the stadium at tomorrow’s Browns vs. Ravens game!

The Cleveland Browns are encouraging fans to volunteer 10 hours of service in their own communities during the year.

The First and Ten initiative, which launched in June of 2014, is the first of its kind in the NFL. The Browns are hoping that fans will volunteer over 500,000 hours to communities throughout the area, and really, anywhere that a Browns Fan may live. With over 10,000 pledges already in, they are well on their way to meeting that goal.

This is a perfect partnership for the American Red Cross, which relies on volunteers to continue its mission to prevent and eliminate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Volunteers make up more than 94% of the workforce of the Red Cross.

How can you volunteer to #Give10 hours to the Red Cross in your community?

You can get started as a volunteer by going to www.redcross.org/volunteer and filling out the online form.

Then head over the Brown’s First and Ten website to register, as a Browns’ fan, to give 10 hours in your community.

Share your #Give10 story

If you are social media savvy, you can share your story of giving 10 hours by using the hashtag #Give10 on Twitter. Then tag @BrownsGiveBack and @NEORedCross. Fans can follow the #Give10 movement on Twitter by following @BrownsGiveBack or searching for the hashtag #Give10.

 

Not on twitter? Share your story of volunteerism by visiting the First and Ten site.

 

Disaster preparedness for pets too!

When disaster strikes, all members of the family should be prepared with a disaster kit – including your pets.  Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers so that they can be carried easily.

Pictured beside Zack and Zoe are leashes, water, food, Vet information, dog toys, a towel, dog treats, medical history, medicine, current picture of Z&Z and a water bowl.

Pictured beside Zack and Zoe are leashes, water, food, Vet information, dog toys, a towel, dog treats, medical history, medicine, current picture of Z&Z and a water bowl.

Your kit should include—

  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.
  • Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a manual can opener.
  • Medications and copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.
  • A first aid kit and download the Pet First Aid App
  • Current photos of you with your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help to eliminate mistaken identity and confusion.
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
  • Pet beds and toy

Click here for a complete list of pet disaster preparedness items: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m3640126_PetSafety.pdf

Pets will look to family members for comfort during all the changes that disasters bring.  Having a plan ahead of time will reduce stress and ensure you that you can care for your furry family members.

New Red Cross app puts power to help save lives in hands of blood donors

The Red Cross is launching a first-of-its kind Blood Donor App that puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand.

The app makes it easier, faster and more convenient for users to schedule and manage their donation appointments, track the lifetime impact of their donations, and recruit friends and family to roll up a sleeve with them.

As the nation’s single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is uniquely positioned to bring this cutting edge technology to blood and platelet donors. In addition to scheduling and managing blood donation appointments, other features of the app include:
• A blood drive or blood donation locator;
• The ability to sync a blood donation appointment with the user’s calendar;
• Donors can share personalized #selfies about their donation experience through social media;
• Unlock special badges through interaction with the app, make donations and spread the word;
• A chance for donors to come together to form teams, tracking their cumulative impact and viewing standings on the Blood Donor Teams Leaderboard;
• Exclusive offers and discounts from some of America’s best brands, including Shari’s Berries, ProFlowers and 1A Auto, with new rewards added regularly; and
• Uplifting donor and blood recipient stories that show the power of rolling up a sleeve to help save lives.

The Blood Donor App, along with the Red Cross suite of preparedness apps, can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross. You can also visit redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or text* BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download.

Eligible blood donors do not need a smartphone to schedule an appointment to give blood. Appointments can always be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting redcrossblood.org.

How to donate blood
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

* Message and data rates for texting may apply.