American Red Cross Urges People to Stay Safe Cooking This Holiday Season

thanksgiving_dinner_1280x1024EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA [November 21, 2014] — The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year – one every eight minutes — and most are home fires. Last year, the Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina provided shelter, food, clothing, and emotional support to 2,628 families in need. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Red Cross of Eastern NC encourages families to prevent kitchen fires by taking some basic safety measures.

“Thanksgiving is the peak day for kitchen fires, and most of those are caused by unattended cooking,” said James D. Jarvis, Disaster Program Specialist, Cape Fear Chapter. “The good news is that home fires can be prevented by following some simple, safety tips.”

A recent Red Cross survey revealed that nearly one in five Americans (16 percent) admit to leaving food cooking unattended on the stove — a major cause of kitchen fires.

Tips to avoid cooking fires include:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Keep young children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Move items that can burn away from the stove such as dishtowels, bags and boxes.
  • Clean the stove and the area around it before turning on the heat.
  • Don’t leave food on the stove unattended.
  • Turn pot handles to the back of the stove to avoid spills.


If a pan catches fire, don’t move it. Slide a pan lid or cookie sheet on top of the pan to put out the fire. Turn off the heat. Keep the lid on the pan until it cools. Never try to stop a grease or oil fire with water! This will actually fuel the fire.

If something catches fire in the oven, keep the door closed. Call 9-1-1 so firefighters can make sure the fire didn’t spread into the walls. If a fire occurs in the microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave, if you can. Don’t use it again until a repairman checks it.

If the kitchen catches fire, make sure everyone gets out and call 9-1-1 when outside. Once outside, stay out. Never go back inside a burning building.

Download the Red Cross First Aid App at to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies, including burns.  For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information, please visit

Recognizing our volunteers in Coastal Carolina, Newbern, NC

The American Red Cross- Coastal Carolina Chapter, Newbern, N.C. held its Volunteer Recognition event on October 16th at the Broadcreek Recreation Center. Approximately 30 volunteers attended the program that highlighted the services and programs the Red Cross has done in the area in the last fiscal year and celebrated the achievements.

An In-Kind check was presented and accepted by Penny Williams, Coastal Carolina Board Chair to represent the 4,735.5 hours of time committed by the volunteers and valuing at $104,842.97.

Special recognition was given to the following award receipents for their exceptional service:

Service to Armed Forces Award: Fred Eldredge, Russell Reed, and Walter Ray Derr

Disaster Services Award: Lanikai Morbley

Rookie of the Year Award: Dan Brown

Blood Services Award: Ruth and Tom McIvors

Volunteer of the Year Award: Lanikai Morbley

Partnership Award: Eastern and Central N.C. Food Bank, Knights of Columbus. Both of these partners were acknowledges for all their continued work with the Red Cross through Disaster Services.

Red Cross Heroes Awards: Kristen Willis  and Joe Avolis. Kristen has worked tiredlessly in her role as a Donor Recruitment Manager, Biomedical Services, with the community and the Coastal Carolinas Chapter. Joe raised $5250 doing a Ride for the Red bike ride from the Virginia/ North Carolina border to the North Carolina/ South Carolina border. Raising awareness along the way about all the important work that the Red Cross does in the community.

Red Cross Hero award receipent
Red Cross Hero award receipent

President’s Volunteer Service Awards- Recognition of volunteer hours completed over the time leading up to June 2014.

Bronze Awards (100 to 249 hours): Eloisa Able, Melvin Allen, Theresa Allen, Ruth McIvor, Tom McIvor, Tom Monte, Michael Soriano, Cameron Stallings, and Penny Williams

Silver Awards (250-499 hours): none

Gold Awards (500-3999 hours): Walter Ray Derr, Fred Eldredge, Patricia Griffin, June Harrison, Marie Howard, Willard Mattmiller, Charles Miller, Lanikai Morbley, Sabita Murray, Russell Reed, and Brenda Wright

Lifetime Awards (4,000 plus hours): Linda Eldredge, Alvin Younger, and Charles Ferko