Have a Safe 4th of July!

Everyone is looking forward to the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend! We wanted to be sure to send out some steps that you can follow to stay safe, whether enjoying a nice meal with friends and family or going for a swim.

The biggest take away? Download the first aid app to help you and your family be prepared for whatever may happen!

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GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

WATER SAFETY Swim only at a beach with a lifeguard, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. While enjoying the water, keep alert and check the local weather conditions. Other safety steps include:

  • Swim sober and always swim with a buddy. Make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
  • Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
  • Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach. Wave action can cause someone to lose their footing, even in shallow water.
  • Watch out for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave animals alone.

DOWNLOAD SWIM, FIRST AID APPS The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The app has features specifically designed for children, including a variety of kid-friendly games, videos and quizzes. It also contains water safety information for parents on a variety of aquatic environments including beaches and water parks. The First Aid App provides instant access to expert guidance on a variety of situations from insect bites and stings to choking and Hands-Only CPR. People can download the apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in their app store or at redcross.org/apps.

HOME POOL ESSENTIALS COURSE The Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF) have developed an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Home Pool Essentials helps people understand the risks of pool ownership, how to maintain a safer and cleaner pool, what safety equipment is appropriate, how to prevent pool and hot tub entrapment hazards, and how to respond to an emergency.

 

 

 

RNC Operation Ends in Cleveland

Whew!

That collective sigh of relief was offered up early Friday morning, following the conclusion of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The convention, by nearly every measure, was a smashing success.

Following more than a year of preparation, the American Red Cross Crossroads Division, with a heavy Northeast Ohio regional presence, coordinated and lead the ARC involvement and support for the event.

Preparations included recruiting and training volunteers, securing potential shelter locations, staging assets like Emergency Response Vehicles in various locations, and renewing partnerships with various public safety entities and groups like the Southern Baptist Convention and the Salvation Army.

None of our services was needed.

Thankfully.

Red Cross workers underwent training during the operation that will be of benefit to those who will need our services during future disaster responses. And we increased our visibility in the community with news coverage of our preparations and social media messages about preparations, extreme heat safety, and the Red Cross Emergency App.

The Republican nominee wasn’t the only winner; the city of Cleveland shone, as evidenced by myriad media reports, almost universally positive.

For many Red Cross workers, the operation continues, with demobilization efforts.  We owe our volunteers our sincere gratitude for their dedication, which for one worker meant learning a totally new skill.

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Photo credit: Todd James/American Red Cross

Note: the article referenced above was written by Eilene Guy…a Red Cross volunteer.
If you would like to volunteer for the Red Cross, while we can’t guarantee you’ll learn how to drive a forklift, you can rest assured you will feel like you are giving back to your community. Visit our website to learn more about volunteer opportunities, and be prepared to help the Red Cross help those in need.

 

 

 

 

Red Cross Cup Raises Funds For Disaster Relief

Money to Help People Who Suffer from Disasters Big and Small

Cancelling a golf tournament seems trivial, when considering the reason.

Flooding.  Homes destroyed.  Lives lost.

That’s why the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia has been cancelled.

“We are heartbroken by the devastation that the residents of West Virginia are experiencing at this time and the reports of lives lost due to the terrible flooding,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem in a statement. “Canceling The Greenbrier Classic is certainly the most prudent course of action as our foremost concern is the well-being of those who are having to live through this tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

The American Red Cross responded to the flood zone immediately. Several volunteers from Northeast Ohio are among the hundreds of Red Cross workers assisting residents who lost their homes. The Red Cross is operating or supporting shelters, providing food and water, replacing prescription medications and eyeglasses, and offering mental health support, to help people cope during their darkest hours.

We are fortunate that no disaster of that magnitude has affected Northeast Ohio, and that we were able to host the Red Cross Cup last month.

One hundred and twelve golfers gathered to play on Monday, June 13th at the world renowned Canterbury Golf Club. The outing was a benefit for the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region.

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Canterbury Golf Club is one of only three U.S. course to have hosted the five rotating Men’s Major Golf Championships, and has been the home for the Red Cross Cup for six years now. The 2016 Red Cross Cup was made possible through the generous support of Presenting Sponsor, Home Savings.

“Home Savings’ investment in the Red Cross as the presenting sponsor of this event will have a significant impact on the lives of others in Northeast Ohio,” according to John McCann, member of the Board of Directors for the Red Cross Greater Cleveland Chapter.

Additional sponsors of the 2016 Red Cross Cup included the Breakfast Sponsor, the Cleveland Zoological Society and the Caddy Sponsor, Donley’s.

Mike Parks, CEO of the Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region reflected on the impact the Red Cross and its volunteers had this season, saying “This has been a very busy spring season for the American Red Cross, with unrelenting flooding in Texas. Nearly 9,000 Red Cross workers—about 90 percent of them volunteers—including some from Northeast Ohio sprang into action to offer shelter, food and comfort in hard-hit communities.”

He continued, bringing the message back to Northeast Ohio and the impact the Red Cross has here, on a wide range of disasters, such as the three house fires that occur, on average, every day in Northeast Ohio.

“During their darkest hour, the victims of these fires become our clients, and are offered immediate financial assistance, mental health services when needed, and a way forward on their road to recovery.”

At the event proceeded, a silent auction included items such as a Chef’s’ Table for 12 at Crop Bistro in Ohio City and a Cavaliers benchwarmer package, which includes access to the Cavs bench during pregame warmups, Court Club access, and an autographed Kevin Love jersey.

The 2016 Red Cross Cup raised more than $100,000, which will be used to further aid and support the American Red Cross Mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

The winners of the event were as follows:

1st Place Winners:

Competitive – Bruce Leff, Leff Electric Co.

Scramble –  Dominion

2nd Place Winners:

Competitive – Justin Roth, Zenith Systems

Scramble – Fox Sports Ohio

3rd Place Winners:

Competitive – Jim Tweardy, Leff Electric Co.

Scramble – Sherwin-Williams

Meantime, in West Virginia, entire families have lost their homes and everything they own. The Red Cross needs your help to continue its work in West Virginia and everywhere disaster strikes. Your support will help people affected by disasters big and small. You can donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief by contacting Scott Thompson, Regional Development Officer at 216-431-3064, or email scott.thompson@redcross.org. You can also text WVFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

American Red Cross volunteer Anmol Nigam contributed to this article

Be Prepared For A Mobile Emergency

Get Your Emergency Car Kit Ready To Go

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Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster, no matter where you go.  Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. Now is the time to put together a Disaster Supplies Kit to carry in the trunk of your car.  Heavy autumn rains can cause flooded roadways, and winter will be here in Northeast Ohio before we know it.  With it comes the certainty of hazardous driving conditions. No one wants to be stranded without the proper supplies.

Here is a list of the minimum basic supplies you should pack in your vehicle emergency kit:

  • High protein snacks
  • Water, enough that each person has one gallon per day
  • First Aid Kit
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, preferably NOAA Weather Radio  -emergency-radio
  • Emergency blanket
  • A whistle, to attract the attention of rescue personnel
  • An emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, and important documents or information you may need
  • Extra prescription medications

The Red Cross store sells a wide variety of emergency supplies, from compact Safety Tubes to Starter Kits to kits containing enough supplies to help 4 people survive a 3 day emergency.

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In addition, always let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

It’s also helpful to find out what disasters may occur in the place where you are traveling, especially if you have never encountered such disasters before.  Find out how you would best get information in the event of a disaster (Red Cross Emergency apps, local radio stations, emergency alert systems).

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Pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination. Travel and weather web sites can help you avoid storms and other regional challenges that could impact your safety.

And keep an eye on your gas gauge.  Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low, especially with prices as low as they are at many gas stations in Northeast Ohio!

Be prepared for an emergency, no matter where you go.  Be Red Cross Ready!

Everything You Need to Know in New All-in-One Red Cross Emergency App

The new, all-inclusive Emergency App from the American Red Cross provides people with instant access to emergency alerts, life-saving information, and ways to contact family and friends in one free, easy-to-use app for smart phones and tablets.Emergency App

The Emergency App is a single ‘go-to’ source for everything from home fires to hurricanes. It includes content from a group of award-winning Red Cross apps with additional information about what to do in case of 14 different types of emergencies and disasters. Users can customize more than 35 emergency alerts based on their location and where loved ones live.

The app includes a new featured called “Family Safe” that allows the app user to notify loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster. The recipient can instantly see the alert details as well as specific “what to do now” steps, and then respond with either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe.” This feature works even if the recipient has not downloaded the Emergency App. In addition to smartphones and tablets, this feature will be available on the new Apple Watch and can be downloaded from the Apple Watch App Store starting April 24.

Other important features include:

  • Emergency first aid information for situations such as heart attacks, heat-related emergencies as well as water safety information;
  • Preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity;
  • A single map with open Red Cross shelter locations and weather information;
  • A home fire section with detailed prevention and safety tips as well as Red Cross “After the Fire” information;
  • “Make a Plan” feature to help families plan what to do and where to go if a disaster strikes; and
  • The ability to easily toggle between English and Spanish.

The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Red Cross apps have been downloaded more than 6 million times and nearly 400 million alerts have been sent since the launch of the first app in 2012. While apps can help prepare someone for disasters, it’s important to note that they are not substitutes for training. People can take Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED courses so they’ll know what to do in case help is delayed. They can get information and register at redcross.org/TakeAClass.

Red Cross Volunteer Apps make volunteering easy for current and prospective volunteers

Nationally, there are over one million volunteers for the Red Cross. While many volunteers tend to local community needs by those who have experienced a disaster like a home fire or flood, there are many other ways to work with the Red Cross including supporting the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, Blood Drives, work at events, community meetings, and more. All are welcome and encouraged to make a difference in their community.  The Red Cross has created two ways to use your mobile device to help you volunteer, the Team Red Cross App and the Volunteer Connection App.

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When a large scale disaster hits, the Team Red Cross App makes it easy for you to help the response through just-in-time training.  The app has extensive training materials so you know exactly how to provide help with disaster assessment, feeding, bulk distribution, or other important work to assist those when they need it most.  Using the GPS on your mobile device, the app instantly recognizes where you are and tells you what help is needed in your area.  For more information, visit www.redcross.org/apps.

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The Volunteer Connection app is for those who are currently volunteers for the Red Cross. The app will help you easily update your profile, log your volunteer hours, schedule your shifts or read up on the latest news from your groups.  The app works with the existing volunteer connection website, but gives you the power to stay connected through your mobile device.  The apps are downloadable for the iPhone and Android servers.

To get started as a volunteer, or learn about additional opportunities visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.

After you turn back the clock, check your smoke alarm batteries and emergency preparedness supplies

This weekend marks the end of Daylight Saving Time which means we will turn the clocks back one hour on Saturday night and receive an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning.

You can post this graphic to your Facebook page to help remind all of your friends and family to do the same.

You can post this graphic to your Facebook page to help remind all of your friends and family to do the same.

We recommends that you also use this as an opportunity to prepare for the winter season by checking you smoke alarm batteries and emergency preparedness supplies – a step that could save you time should an unexpected crisis arise.

Other preparedness steps you can take this weekend include:

 

  • Updating the emergency contact information in your family communications plan. Choose an out-of-area emergency contact that each person in your family can call if he/she becomes separated during a disaster situation.
  • Making sure your emergency preparedness kit still includes at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food items and water (one gallon per person per day), a flashlight, a battery-powered or crank radio, can opener, first aid kit, copies of important documents, and special items such as medications, diapers, and infant formula.
  • Checking your emergency preparedness kit for expired food items; refresh staples such as water, food and batteries. If there have been changes in prescriptions or dietary needs, add new foods and medications as needed.

 

Taking simple actions like these can help you be better prepared for emergencies. You can find more information on preparedness on redcross.org.

The Red Cross has free mobile apps that help people learn what to do before, during and after an emergency or disaster