For the second year in a row, the Northeast Ohio Region has reached the goal set for the number of smoke alarm installations in homes throughout our communities.
And there are still nearly four months to go before the close of the fiscal year, June 30th.
The goal was 10,000 smoke alarms. As of Monday, March 6, Red Cross workers, volunteers and community partners had installed more than 10,100. “While we continue to seek our own internal goal of exceeding our installation totals from last year (approximately 13,000) we still must take a moment to recognize all of the hard work that has gone into achieving the national target at this point in FY 2017,” Regional Disaster Officer Tim O’Toole wrote in a message to the Northeast Ohio staff. “As one of the smallest regions in the nation we still are among the leaders in this effort.
WJW Photographer Jim Pijor records John Gareis installing a smoke alarm
Fire Walk with CERT (Community Emergency Relations Team) in Parma OH
The annoncement couldn’t come at a better time: this weekend, we are urged to TEST our smoke alarms as we TURN our clocks ahead for Daylight Saving Time. It’s also a good time to take these steps to make sure our households are prepared for emergencies:
- Install smoke alarms. If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, they should install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements.
- Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
- Get a kit. Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or if ordered to evacuate.
- Make a plan. Have all household members plan what steps they should take if an emergency occurs.
- Be informed. Learn what emergencies can occur in the area and how officials notify residents should a disaster occur.
The installation of smoke alarms is just one part of the Operation Save-A-Life campaign. Providing free home fire safety inspections and disseminating valuable fire safety information are also critical components. And volunteers perform the majority of the work involved in making our communities safer.
You can volunteer to help the red Cross make our communities safer at redcross.org/neo, where you can also apply for a home fire safety inspection and free smoke alarm installation.
The fiscal year ends on June 30th. We’ll let you know how many MORE smoke alarms our volunteers, staff and partners are able to install by then.
Fire Safety Walk took place just ahead of National Preparedness Month
It can be hot work, especially when temperatures reach into the 90s like they have this summer. This is the kind of weather that makes you long for air conditioning and tall glasses of ice water, dripping with cool condensation.
But one dedicated team steadfastly treks through the humid air to make sure that homes will remain safe as the temperatures begin to fall.
That team? Our Operation Save-A-Life partners at Alcoa, who helped the Red Cross install 150 smoke alarms in 71 homes at the Miller Mobile park on the 93 degree day of August 25, just ahead of National Preparedness Month.
“The team from Alcoa is the easiest and best group I get to work with,” said John Gareis, Regional Disaster Training Coordinator. You can see more photos of the event on our flickr page.
During the month of September, the Red Cross urges families to develop a fire escape plan, so everyone in the household knows what to do if fire occurs. Home fires are the most common threat people face across the country, and every family should develop a fire escape plan.
If your group would like to help install smoke alarms with the Red Cross, please call or email our volunteer services team at 216-431-3328 or NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.
Photo Credit: Cal Pusateri/American Red Cross Volunteer
Nearly every eight minutes, the American Red Cross extends a helping hand to a family in need that has lost everything – the roof over their heads, their clothes, and their most cherished possessions – to a home fire.
The Red Cross has been busy helping neighbors in and around Northeast Ohio, but we need your help on one special day to continue to provide the emergency services that our neighbors depend on each and every day.
On April 21, you have a chance to help families in need whenever and wherever they need it by participating in the Red Cross’ Giving Day to #help1family. A donation of just $88.50 can provide a family with a day’s worth of food, plus blankets and other essentials.
We are proud of the work we accomplished to help people in Northeast Ohio last year:
- Installing 8,960 smoke alarms in NEO communities
- Provided 3,161 students with disaster readiness training through The Pillowcase Project, sponsored by Disney
- Responded to over 950 disaster incidents such as home fires or flooding
Spread the word about Giving Day – the more people who support Giving day means we can help more families. Use your social media channels to reach out to friends and family and ask them to donate to #help1family by visiting https://givingday.redcross.org/region/northeast-ohio.
Here are four ways your donation will #help1family:
- Supporting a family in urgent need: provide funding to give a family a day’s worth of food, blankets, and other essentials.
- Supplying warm meals: help provide hearty, comforting meals to people impacted by disasters.
- Providing clean-up kits after a disaster strikes: make clean-up kits available for families in need that include vital items like a mop, bucket, and disinfectant.
- Deploying an emergency response vehicle for a day: Red Cross workers travel to impacted neighborhoods in fully stocked Emergency Response vehicles to provide food, water and critical relief.
Imagine the impact that we could have on our community if everyone wanted to #help1family.