Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster response report: January 18-20, 2019

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio

January 21, 2019- While many residents all across Northeast Ohio were hunkered down at home, waiting for Winter Storm Harper to pass, American Red Cross disaster workers conquered many obstacles to assist residents in need.

Over the weekend, the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio responded to 12 incidents in Akron, Cleveland, East Liverpool, Euclid, Huron, Lodi, North Olmsted, Ravenna and Youngstown. The team assisted 34 adults and 15 children, and distributed more than $10,000 in immediate financial assistance.

With vehicles stuck on side streets and even members of the Red Cross disaster team snowed-in, nothing could keep the NEO Red Cross from reaching across county and chapter lines to assure that residents were assisted during their worst times.

In one such case, a disaster team from the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter responded to a call in Lodi, due to members of the Summit, Portage, and Media Counties Chapter team being unable to respond due to being trapped by the snow.

“Regardless of any obstacles we may face, the Red Cross will do whatever it takes to meet the needs of residents,” stated Mike Arthur, disaster program manager, Lake Erie/Heartland and one of the members who responded to the Lodi call. “If that is answering a call to help another chapter or driving in winter weather conditions, there is always a way for us to assist individuals in need.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo credit: Doug Bardwell/American Red Cross volunteer

Over the weekend, all 12 incidents were home fire responses. Thankfully, there were no reported fatalities.

The Red Cross announced last week that through the home fire campaign, more than 500 lives have now been saved nationally, due to the installation of free smoke alarms and helping residents create an escape plan in the event of a fire.

During the start of fiscal year 2019, from June-November 2018, the NEO Red Cross has installed 5,692 smoke alarms, reached more than 1,300 children through youth preparedness programs and made more than 5,200 homes safer throughout the region.

To learn more about the home fire campaign and to request a smoke alarm, visit the Northeast Ohio home fire campaign page.

If you would like to provide a financial donation to assist the Red Cross’ efforts to support the residents of Northeast Ohio, visit redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

If you cannot assist financially, there is another way you may help the Red Cross assist those in need. Without the tremendous dedication of our volunteers, the Red Cross would not be able to serve the 22 counties and 4.5 million residents of Northeast Ohio. Volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce. Our volunteers are truly the face of the Red Cross.  Visit redcross.org/neo to learn more about volunteer opportunities or to apply to become a Red Cross volunteer.

15 ways to stay safe when Winter Storm Harper hits Northeast Ohio

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio

With Winter Storm Harper barreling down on Northeast Ohio and threatening significant snow and subzero temperatures this weekend, the American Red Cross has steps you should take to ensure you can enjoy the winter weather, while remaining safe.

HEAT YOUR HOME SAFELY

outside-winter-safety-tips-twWith wind chill this weekend potentially being as low as -30 degrees, homes all across Northeast Ohio will certainly have their heating sources working to their full potential. While it is nice to be warm and cozy inside of our homes, it is also important to heat our homes safely.

Home heating is the second leading cause of fires in the U.S. To reduce the risk of heating related fires, the Red Cross recommends your follow these steps:

  • All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

For more home fire safety information, visit the Red Cross home fire safety campaign page.

STAY SAFE DURING WINTER WEATHER

  • Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.heating-en
  • Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
  • Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water. Click here for more tips to keep your four-legged friends safe this weekend.
  • Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY

With Winter Storm Harper possibly bringing a foot or more of snow to Northeast Ohio, the Red Cross recommends everyone to remain safe by staying off the roads. However, if you must leave your home during the storm, here are some tips to keep you safe while you travel:

  • Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.

BE RED CROSS READY

To help you and your family prepare for Winter Storm Harper, download and review the Red Cross’ winter storm safety checklist.

DOWNLOAD APPS

North Dakota and Minnesota FloodsYou can also download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps and more are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps

Emergency need: Donors urged to give blood and platelets now

January 16, 2019 – A donation shortfall over the winter holidays is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to give now Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care. The Red Cross collected more than 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply, as busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

You can help!

  1. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
  2. Let your friends and family know there is an emergency need for blood and platelet donors and ask them to #GiveNow.
  3. Bring someone to donate with you.
  4. Host a blood drive so others can give – be it at your office location, place of worship or community organization.

Your support can help ensure that blood products are there for trauma victims, premature babies, patients going through cancer treatment and others who depend on transfusions for survival.

The hospitals that rely on blood and blood products collected by the Red Cross regularly hold blood drives of their own. One such hospital is the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Blood Donation 2018

From the days of Clara Barton and our founding, the Red Cross has had a strong relationship with members of the military, veterans and their families.  Every day, the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces provides 24/7 global emergency communication services and support in military and veteran health care facilities across the country and around the world. Furthermore, Susan Fuehrer, director of the Northeast Ohio VA healthcare system, also serves on the Red Cross’ Greater Cleveland board of directors.

On February 1 from 7 AM to 5 PM, the Cleveland VA Medical Center will be hosting a blood drive, which is open to the public.

Are you unable to donate on February 1st, but have space on your calendar on February 12th to give life? Well, you are in luck!  Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights will be hosting its annual blood drive, which is the largest in the region. The blood drive will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 6111 Landerhaven Drive from 7 AM-7 PM.

Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives. Don’t wait to help. Give now.

Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster response report: January 11-13, 2019

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio. Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer.

January 14, 2019- While many across Northeast Ohio were inside avoiding the snow and the frigid cold, American Red Cross disaster workers were responding to residents in need.

Home Fire Detroit Michigan 2017During the weekend of January 11-13, the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio responded to 10 home fires in Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Lorain, Mahoning, Trumbull and Wayne counties. The team assisted 39 adults and 12 children who were affected and distributed more than $8,000 in immediate financial assistance.

If it was not for the tireless commitment and generosity of our volunteers, the Red Cross would not be able to serve the 22 counties and 4.5 million residents of Northeast Ohio. Volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce—and they truly are the face of the Red Cross.

Referring to the many volunteers who responded to disasters this past weekend, Home Fire Dubuque, Iowa 2018Renee Palagyi, Senior Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio, said, “I’m amazed that these people continue to get out of bed in the middle of the night to provide help and hugs to those in need.  How do you not stand in awe of them?”

If you are interested in making an impact in your local community, the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. To volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer or contact our Volunteer Services Department directly at 216-431-3328 or NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.

Love to drive? Become a Volunteer Transportation Specialist

By Courtney Roach, Manager, Biomedical Volunteer Workforce Engagement

How does it feel to help save a life? This is your chance to find out! If you have a little free time, love driving, and enjoy meeting new people, the Red Cross has a great volunteer position for you. We are currently seeking Volunteer Transportation Specialists in Cuyahoga County. It’s a unique volunteer position that supports blood pickup at both mobile and fixed site blood drives.

blood 1-11Why Is This Position So Important?

The Red Cross collects and distributes about 40% of our nation’s blood supply. When you pick up blood, platelets or other blood products from a blood collection site or deliver them to a hospital, you’re delivering hope to a person when they need it most.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Transport blood and blood products from blood collection sites to the laboratory for processing
  • Pick up and return boxes as needed
  • Complete required paperwork and obtain signatures
  • Communicate and share feedback between Red Cross personnel and customers
  • Drive in a safe and responsible manner in a Red Cross Vehicle and always provide strong customer.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Enjoys driving
  • Is physically able to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Is timely and prompt
  • Is highly self-sufficient and dependable

The vital work of the American Red Cross is made possible by volunteers who contribute their time and talents. Every day our drivers help save people’s lives.

To apply or for more information, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact Melanie Collins at 330-204-6615 or melanie.collins4@redcross.org.

Want a job? Join the Red Cross Corps

By Samantha Pudelski/Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteers

January 9, 2019 – The help wanted sign is out.

The American Red Cross is looking for AmeriCorps workers in Northeast Ohio. It’s a unique opportunity for talented individuals to contribute to the Red Cross mission, while earning a small paycheck AND money to help with tuition or repay student loans.

kelly fraser and hunter hamill

AmeriCorps workers prepare to help install smoke alarms in a home in Cleveland in 2018.

What is the Red Cross mission?  To prevent and alleviate human suffering. So being part of the Red Cross Corps will allow members to help people in the community, while at the same time developing their professional skills.

How does a Red Cross Corp member contribute to the Red Cross mission?

Members work alongside Red Cross staff on a variety of projects that support the mission of the Red Cross, to:

  • Deliver preparedness education to adults through the Home Fire Campaign, which seeks to reduce home fire-related deaths and injuries in the United States.
  • Deliver preparedness to youth through the Pillowcase Project, which educates on what disasters are and how to prepare for them.
  • Build local volunteer capacity to support preparedness education by training new lead volunteers.

    rachel steiner

    AmeriCorps worker Rachel Steiner teaching children preparedness in 2017

John Gareis, who manages preparedness and community planning for the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio, said, “By helping support our Home Fire Campaign and Pillowcase Project, we have been able to teach more households and children about fire prevention and the importance of being prepared.”

Former Red Cross Corps member Shelby Begg said, “I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to provide impactful service to so many families throughout Northeastern Ohio, and that I got to work alongside so many wonderful people.”

Program Benefits

  • $14,000 taxable living stipend distributed bi-weekly payments of approximately $583 for 11 months of service.
  • Student loan deferment or forbearance.
  • Upon successful completion of term of service, eligible for a taxable education award in the amount of $6,095 which can be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary educational institutions (including many technical schools and GI-Bill approved educational programs), as well as to repay qualified student loans.
  • Health insurance offered.
  • Childcare available if eligible.

Apply Today!

The Northeast Ohio Region of the Red Cross is currently looking for four individuals to join the Red Cross AmeriCorps team for 2019.  This is a full-time position with an 11-month term of service that provides opportunities for professional development while making a difference in local communities.

Position Locations

  • Greater Cleveland Chapter – 3747 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
  • Summit, Portage & Medina Counties Chapter – 501 West Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44303
  • Lake to River Chapter – 3530 Belmont Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio 44505

americorps

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact John Gareis at 216-431-3219 or john.gareis@redcross.org.

 

Resolve to save a life

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio. Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer. 

2019 is already a week old and your New Year’s resolution may not be going as planned. Instead of feeling bad about another missed opportunity, the American Red Cross has a resolution that is not only easy to keep but will make you feel equally good: Resolve to save a life.

Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018January is National Blood Donor Month. If you have never given blood before or it has been a while, it is the perfect time to become a blood donor.

In the United States, there is someone who needs blood every two seconds. Unfortunately, of the 38 percent of the population who is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually donate.

To make it easier to donate blood this month, the Red Cross is hosting over 350 blood drives across Northeast Ohio from today until the end of January, ensuring there is a blood drive close to you. To find a scheduled blood drive, visit RedCrossBlood.org to search by zip code and prepare for your donation.

If you cannot attend any of the scheduled blood drives, the Red Cross has several donation centers in Northeast Ohio. For those in the Greater Cleveland area interested in giving blood and donating platelets, the Red Cross has blood donation centers in Cleveland and Parma.

The Warzel Blood Donation Center is located at the Regional Headquarters on 3747 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday.Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018

The Parma Donation Center is located on 5585 Pearl Avenue and is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday to Sunday

The Red Cross also has a donation center in our Akron office and a donation center in Mansfield.

Here are some helpful facts as you prepare to take the next steps to donate today:

  • The average person has about 10 to 12 pints of blood in his or her body.
  • There are four blood groups: A, B, AB and O.
  • Red cells, which contain hemoglobin, carry oxygen throughout the blood and give blood its red color, are used to treat trauma or surgery patients.
  • Platelets helps prevent massive blood loss by helping blood clot and is used to treat cancer patients, organ transplant patients and surgery patients.
  • You can donate blood every 56 days and you can donate platelets up to 24 times per year.
  • You must be at least 17 years old to donate. In Ohio, you can donate blood if you are 16 years old and have written parental consent.
  • You must weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply
    for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
  • From beginning to end, the blood donation process takes about one hour and 15 minutes to donate blood and three hours to donate platelets.
  • The Red Cross does not charge for the blood itself, but does recoup the many costs associated with the donation process.
  • After you donate, you can enjoy juice and cookies in the refreshment area and think about the difference you’ve made!

Blood Donation 2018

Visit RedCrossBlood.org today to sign up to donate. This is a journey you can start this new year and resolve to continue every 56 days.