Three easy ways to get prepared:
1. Download FREE Red Cross apps: http://ow.ly/ubQY9
2. Sit down with your family this week and create an emergency plan: http://ow.ly/ubQRF
3. Sign up for a CPR and first aid course: http://ow.ly/ubR4y
As dawn broke Friday morning residents of Wilmington, NC again woke up to freezing temperatures and worse… No power.
Thousands were left draped in blankets or huddled by a fire as city workers scrambled to restore power as quickly as possible. In a time of local crisis, community leaders turned to a reliable and familiar source, the American Red Cross.
James Buckley, a retired firefighter now volunteering with the Red Cross found himself spread out across the southeast the past few days. Buckley has been tasked with driving the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle- ERV for short- throughout the southeast. In times of disaster the ERV gives out critical supplies like food, water and blankets to those in need.
On this particular day the ERV helped supply a hot breakfast to senior and disabled citizens in Grover Plaza. Fifty hot meals were generously prepared and packaged by Jeff Shea and his team at Golden Corral, located at 5211 College Rd South.
Citizens of Grover Plaza showed relief on their faces when the ERV arrived. Sam Holt was one of the first residents to come up to the truck. “We were without power for about 35 hours,” he said. “It’s so good to get a hot meal.”
Scott Whisenant shared similar feelings. ” I was very relieved (to see the Red Cross). We couldn’t cook (and) we lost the stuff in our refrigerator. It’s unreal.”
Tina Baysden, a Grover Plaza resident since 2002 took a hands-on approach and helped volunteers hand out food to residents unable to walk. “I think they (Red Cross) are awesome,” she said. They are concerned about the elderly and disabled.”
Like many residents Tina decided to brave the power outage and stay at her home. “I have three service dogs and they’re like family,” she said.
While many decide to stay home the American Red Cross urges anyone, especially the sick or elderly, without power to seek proper shelter in times of disaster. For tips on how to stay prepared, stay warm or where to find shelter in your area please visit redcross.org.
Last month, Jackie Gillam and Robin Toppin were called to the scene of a home fire in Martin County. Both ladies are Martin County Red Cross disaster action team members in addition to being part of the volunteer rescue squad in Jamesville.
All of the residents had gotten out of the house safely and the homeowner was trying to round up her pets including some cats and dogs. Robin noticed kittens on the front porch and the owner said she had completely forgotten about them due to the chaos of escaping the fire. Robin alerted the rescue team and Jackie accompanied a fireman to the porch where they carefully retrieved the kittens one by one and brought them to a safe area away from the burning home.
Jackie, a big cat-lover, observed one of the kittens was lethargic and did not appear to be doing well so Robin rushed to the truck to get an oxygen tank. Jackie held the oxygen mask to the kitten’s face and he was soon resuscitated. All of the kittens survived the house fire and Jackie even graciously offered to foster them until the owners could get back on their feet.
After the fire was out and the scene secured, Jackie and Robin positioned to the role of Red Cross volunteer and met with the family whose home was destroyed. They were able to offer the family assistance to help them recover from the disaster.
Being part of the volunteer rescue squad works hand in hand with Jackie and Robin’s roles as disaster action team (DAT) members for the Red Cross because once they have provided emergency support they can meet with the families affected by the disaster and provide assistance to take care of their immediate needs including shelter, clothing, food, supplies, referrals and emotional support.
“When we get a call (for the rescue squad), we always grab our Red Cross bags because we know we’ll probably need it,” said Robin
Jackie has been with the Red Cross for many years and has been serving as a mentor to Robin who just became a DAT in the last year. “She’s a been teaching me the ropes, she’s a great teacher,” remarked Robin.
Jackie and Robin have been a great asset to the Greater Pamlico Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and to the city of Jamesville.
For over a century, the Red Cross has been a community leader in emergency preparedness and response. Each year the President of the United States proclaims March “Red Cross Month;” local Red Cross chapters use this time to honor that longstanding tradition of heroism by recognizing local individuals whose extraordinary acts make them a hero. Our heroes personify compassion, selflessness and kindness.
The American Red Cross of Eastern NC 2014 Heroes Campaign will run through March and is an excellent opportunity for the local chapters to raise money that benefits Red Cross programs and services in their communities. The goal is to involve as many people from our community as possible.
People of all ages can serve as Heroes. Heroes pledge to raise $1,250 each for the Red Cross during this grassroots fundraising and awareness campaign which is held each March. If you’re up for this challenge, you can raise the money personally, as an organization, or by hosting a fundraising event. All money raised here stays here.
What’s in it for me? Glad you asked!
- The best feeling in the world knowing that you helped change someone’s life, including your own.
- Your picture or company/organization’s logo in the newspaper.
- An invitation to a delicious kick-off breakfast!
- A chance to make a big, lasting difference in our community.
- Bragging rights!
- An invitation to one of our celebratory events.
- Heroes that raise $1200 or more can present their check on air at the WITN-7 American Red Cross telethon on April 9th in Greenville
Your gift will provide . . .
- $2000 will provide Natural Disaster Shelter operations for a 24 hour period
- $1250 will provide a family of 4 a 2 night hotel stay, food and clothing after a fire
- $1000 will educate 250 military personnel and their families about the services provided by the Red Cross
- $500 will provide clothing and shoes for a family of 4 after a disaster
- $200 will provide groceries and food for one weekend
- for a family of 4 affected by a disaster
- $150 will provide disaster comfort kits and Clean up kits for a family affected by a fire or flood
Ideas of how to raise money
- Car Wash
- Bake Sale, Chicken or Spaghetti dinner
- Golf Tournament
- Soliciting a business to donate $1,250
- Raffle off a special item
- Loose change drive at a local business or school
- Jeans or TShirt day at your place of employment ($5.00 to wear jeans or $10 to wear Red Cross TShirt with jeans)
- *Mail a letter to 40 of your closest friends to donate $50-$100 for the Red Cross to help you become a Hero
Retail and Restaurant challenge: sell Red Cross squares for $1 each, or “Keep the Change” buckets placed at the registers
- Neighborhood garage/yard sale
- Civic club challenges
- Garden or Tea party in your home
- Donut sales through Krispy Kreme®
Create your Online Heroes Page
- Tips for Success with your Online Fundraising Page:
- Share your Heroes page on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
- Be sure to enter your off-line gifts so they are counted toward your totals!
- Don’t forget to ask your donors if they (or their spouse) work for a company with a matching gift program.
For more information about the 2014 Red Cross Heroes Campaign email Summer Woodard or call 910-355-3800.
When US Airways Flight 1549, or “The Miracle on the Hudson,” ditched into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, Dave Sanderson knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be. The last passenger off the back of the plane on that fateful day, he was largely responsible for the well-being and safety of others, risking his own life in frigid water to help other passengers off the plane. Despite the hazards to himself, Sanderson thought only of helping others, and emerged from the wreckage with a mission: to encourage others to do the right thing. In this stirring presentation, Sanderson shares the story of Flight 1549, revealing the inner strength it took to make it through the day, and how teamwork, leadership, and state management can help overcome any obstacle.
Dave Sanderson will be coming to eastern NC as a speaker for three Red Cross Heroes events- in Wilson, Rocky Mount and Wilmington. He will begin his tour at the Wilson Heroes Kickoff Banquet on February 25 at Wilson Country Club. The second stop will be on March 15 at the Cape Fear Red Cross Gala & Auction at UNCW Burney Center in Wilmington. His final appearance will be at the Rocky Mount Heroes Banquet on March 25 at the Rose Hill Conference Center. For more information on the Wilson and Rocky Mount Heroes Banquet’s contact the Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross at 252-977-1720. Visit the Cape Fear Red Cross Gala & Auction website for more information on this event.
In Goldsboro, NC, the Cotton Club Quilters of Goldsboro, meet once a month at the Wayne County Chapter to donate their time making quilts for disaster clients. The Cotton Club Quilters began their partnership with the Red Cross approximately six years ago, they needed a place to quilt and a new outlet to receive their quilts. The Wayne County Chapter opened its space to the group and the partnership has blossomed to this day. The membership of the group is forty members strong with many members working from home and coming in monthly to either pick up or drop off their finished products. The group donates approximately 20 handmade quilts a year.
Pat King, is not only a member of the quilting bee but is a Disaster Action Team member, who is called to respond to the many local house fires in the Goldsboro area. On the day I was visiting with the group, Pat described to the others what it was like to pass out a quilt to a disaster client saying that “the look on their faces when they received the quilt was unforgettable” and that the clients are always very appreciative of that one small act of kindness. The members I spoke with agreed to is not only the acts of kindness that they perform but that they love to quilt and give back to their community.
The importance of community partner groups and the volunteers who spend their time dedicated to our organization is not undervalued. The Red Cross needs community partners and their members to assist the Red Cross in all that we do across all lines of service in all our communities. Community Partners assist with volunteering opportunities, fundraising, preparedness, response and recovery efforts during disaster, sponsor blood drives and hold health and safety classes. For more information on how to partner your business or organization with the Red Cross call 1-800-REDCROSS or your local chapter.
As we begin the new year, many of us ponder about what we should change to improve our lives. People resolve to do things such as lose weight, quit smoking or save money. This year the American Red Cross urges everyone to make another resolution – to make 2014 the year they get ready for when emergencies occur.
One of the things people can do is to download the free Red Cross apps to their mobile devices to put great preparedness and disaster information at their fingertips. Apps currently available include first aid and shelter finder apps, as well as apps that give real-time information on what to do before, during and after a hurricane, wildfire or earthquake. The Red Cross Apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
Getting your household ready for disaster is simple – just three steps to follow:
GET A KIT The first step is to build an emergency preparedness kit. Having things in one place and close at hand can make a difference for everyone in the household. Store your kit in an easy-¬to-¬carry container that someone can use at home or take with them in case they have to evacuate.The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home. The Red Cross Store has items available for someone’s kit, ranging from a hand-crank radio to a fully stocked deluxe emergency preparedness kit.
Your kit should include:
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water—one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene purposes
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit, medications and medical items
- Copies of all important documents (proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Extra cash
MAKE A PLAN Talk with members of your household about what to do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case everyone is separated, and choose two places to meet—one right outside the home, in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside the neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate. Other tips on how you should formulate your emergency plan are:
Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. All household members should have this person’s phone number and email address. It may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.
Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept.
Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable.
Plan ahead for your pets. If you must evacuate, make arrangements for your animals. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
BE INFORMED Know what situations may occur where you live. For instance, if you live near the beach, know what to do in case you are faced with a tropical storm or hurricane. If you live where winters are cold, know what to do during a winter storm. Remember that emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them.
Learn first aid and CPR/AED so that you have the skills to respond in an emergency before help arrives, especially during a disaster when emergency responders may not be as available. People can go to redcross.org/takeaclass or call 1-800-REDCROSS for course schedules and to register. Use HOLIDAY0113 as the coupon code to receive a 20 percent discount through January 31, 2013.
“RED CROSS READY”The Red Cross conducts different programs to help people be prepared. The “Ready When the Time Comes” program trains employees from corporations and mobilizes them as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes. “Be Red Cross Ready” is a web-based interactive training program that teaches people how to be ready for emergencies. The Ready Rating™ program and First Aid Emergency Drills help businesses, schools and other organizations better prepare for emergencies.