The Twelve Days of Christmas

Preparing Families for Emergencies

By John Gareis, Regional Preparedness Manager

Most people believe that on the First Day of Christmas the appropriate gift to give is a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Well the American Red Cross believes in building Disaster Resilient Neighborhoods during the Holiday Season as well throughout the year.pear
To help you select stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts designed to make individuals, families and the homes they live in as safe as possible, the American Red Cross has put together the following recommendations for gifts for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the First Day of Christmas

On the First Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you install a Smoke AlarmSMOKE ALARM. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home; outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall, at the top of open stairways and at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen. It is important to check your Smoke Alarms every month and replace their batteries annually. The life expectancy of ALL smoke alarms is 10 years – the sensors wear out.

On the Second Day of Christmas

On the Second Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you install a CO2CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM. Carbon Monoxide Alarms should be placed in hallways throughout the home. They should also be placed in recreational vehicles and on boats.

extinguisherOn the Third Day of Christmas

On the Third Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you install a FIRE EXTINGUISHER in your home. Install A-B-C type Fire Extinguishers in the home and teach all household members how to use them.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

On the Fourth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you install aladder FIRE ESCAPE LADDER. Homes with more than one floor should have at least one Fire Escape Ladder stored on all floors, other than ground level. Store these ladders where they are easily accessible.

kitOn the Fifth Day of Christmas

On the Fifth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you assemble a FAMILY DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT. A family will cope best by preparing for emergencies before they occur. One way to prepare is by assembling a Family Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won’t have time to shop and search for supplies.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

petOn the Sixth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you assemble a PET SUPPLIES KIT. Pets enrich the lives of individuals and families in more ways than you can count. In turn they depend on people for their safety and well-being. Having a Pet Disaster Supplies Kit is one of the best ways to care for pets when disaster strikes.

On the Seventh Day of Christmas

On the Seventh Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you acquire wxa WEATHER RADIO. As the voice of the National Weather Service, a Weather Radio provides continuous broadcasts of the latest weather information directly from a National Weather Service Forecast Office. During severe weather routine broadcasting is interrupted and special watch and warning messages are issued.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas

firstaidOn the Eighth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you get a FIRST AID KIT. Because the first five minutes of a medical emergency are critical, every individual and family should have a First Aid Kit in their home and vehicle and on your boat.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas

cprOn the Ninth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you attend FIRST AID AND CPR TRAINING. For more than a century, the Red Cross has been saving lives with Health and Safety Services education programs. A unique idea for a Christmas Stocking would be a Gift Certificate for a First Aid and CPR Training course.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas

On the Tenth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you purchasehouse numbers HOUSE NUMBERS. Each home should have its number posted clearly on the front door, over the doorway, or elsewhere on the front so emergency responders can easily locate it. Lives and property can be saved simply by adequate house numbers where emergency workers can find them as quickly as possible.

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

flashOn the Eleventh Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you purchase a FLASHLIGHT. As simple as a Flashlight is, it can become a very important tool during and after disaster strikes. Every Family Disaster Supplies Kit should contain a Flashlight and spare batteries.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas the Red Cross recommends that you create an phoneEMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN. Each home should have a list of Emergency Phone Numbers posted near the phone or in the front of a phone book.

For additional information on these and other safety tips visit:
http://www.redcross.org/news/article/7-fire-safety-tips-for-holiday-decorating-and-entertaining

 

Family Grateful for Emergency Military Communications

The message below was sent to a Red Cross volunteer, who provides Service to the Armed Forces:
Thank you soo much for getting my son home with my dad having a massive heartattack whom we were told was not going to make it. Thankfully with all the prayers and support my dad is recovering. The Red Cross is truly a blessing working with the men and woman whom are serving our country. Thank u red Cross for ensuring that my son made it home. I give u a 5 plus rating.
Linking military families during a crisis through Emergency Communications is only part of what we do for members of the military, veterans and their families.  We also link military families to local resources and support services.  We provide training that promotes resiliency and preparedness to help families cope with the challenges of military life. And we support wounded warriors in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world, including the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland.
If you are in the military, or have a child serving our country, or are a veteran, download the Hero Care App.  It will connect you to important resources that can help you through both emergency and nonemergency situations.
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For more information, contact Jessica Tischler, Regional Director of Service to the Armed Forces, at 216-426-7525.

Military Families Can Now Send Emergency Messages Online

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American Red Cross Introduces Hero Care Network

The Red Cross has an unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families.  Always has, ever since founder Clara Barton began to recruit nurses to support Army soldiers.  And now, more than 130 years later, a new digital tool has been developed to give military families the ability to get an emergency message to loved ones immediately from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The Hero Care Network provides a new online option for emergency communication among military families, as well as the toll free Red Cross Emergency number at 877-272-7337.

“Close to 1,200 military families from Northeast Ohio reached out to the Red Cross for emergency assistance last year, and more than 900 needed to make an emergency contact with a loved one in uniform,” according to Jessica Tischler, Director of Service to Armed Forces for Northeast Ohio.  “Our military families are among the 110,000 families nationwide, some 300 every day, who rely on the Red Cross during their time of need.” Any member of any branch of the military on active duty is eligible to receive an emergency communication message from family members through the Red Cross Hero Care Network.  This includes activated members of the Guard and Reserve of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, along with civilians employed by or under contract to the Department of Defense and stationed outside of the continental United States, and any family member residing with them.  A Cadet or midshipman at a service academy, an ROTC cadet on orders for training and Merchant Marines aboard U.S. Naval ships are also eligible for emergency communications assistance through the Red Cross.

The new online tool, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork is a secure way for family members of the men and women who serve our country to notify their loved ones about the birth of a child or grandchild, a serious illness, or the death of an immediate family member.  The Red Cross has taken multiple steps to ensure the safety and security of all personal information.

While many military families are in constant contact through email and text messaging, information verified by the Red Cross assists service men and women and their commanding officers when it comes to making a decision regarding emergency leave. And with the new online tool, users who initiate an emergency message can monitor the status of their message as it goes through the verification and delivery process.

“It’s important to remember that people can always speak to a Red Cross worker at any time during the process,” according to Koby J. Langley, Senior Vice President of Service to Armed Forces for the American Red Cross. “regardless of how families initiate an emergency message, military members can depend on the Red Cross to relay urgent messages to service members serving anywhere in the world.”

For more information about Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, contact Jessica Tischler at Jessica.tischler@redcross.org, or visit redcross.org/military.