Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Internship Update: Home Fire Safety

Home Fire Safety 

As my time as an intern for the American Red Cross is coming to a close, I wanted to share one of my favorite experiences. Two weeks ago, I was sending out our yearly newsletters when Laura informed me that a camera crew would be there in an hour for an interview. She then asked me which part I wanted to say on camera and I froze. I had never been on camera before and the thought terrified me, but I was also very eager to try!

Together, we were informing Lubbock residents about the Home Fire Campaign and the importance of installing smoke alarms. The goal of this Campaign is to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. I gave some tips about home fire safety and wanted to share those here as well:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking
  • Keep anything that could catch fire more than 3 feet away from a heat source
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Plug appliances directly into wall outlets
  • Keep matches and lighters safely stored away from children
  • Create and practice an escape plan twice a year
  • Change smoke alarm batteries every year
  • Replace smoke alarms every ten years

A component of the Campaign is Sound the Alarm. Red Cross volunteers and partners help install free smoke alarms, replace batteries and help families create escape plans. In Lubbock alone, we have installed over 1,500 smoke alarms.

With home fires being the largest type of disaster that the American Red Cross responds to, I couldn’t think of a better message to share in our community. I’ve definitely learned new things from this Campaign and hope to share that knowledge. “Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Situation Update
Three weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the American Red Cross is working alongside government officials and disaster partners to help the hundreds of thousands of people on both island territories who are suffering right now. Most people on the islands are living with no power and high temperatures, and no cell service, and many are without drinking water. Thousands of homes have been affected.

Across both Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands more than 680 Red Cross workers are supporting relief efforts by:
·         Serving more than 1 million meals and snacks
·         Distributing more than 788,000 relief items
·         Providing more than 14,300 mental health and health services to people in need

Red Cross Response - Puerto Rico
On Puerto Rico after Irma and Maria, hundreds of Red Cross workers are helping to reconnect families and distribute critical relief supplies, including food and water. This includes:
·         Serving more than 540,000 meals and snacks
·         Distributing more than 534,000 relief supplies
·         Providing more than 10,400 mental health and health services to people in need

Red Cross Response - U.S. Virgin Islands
On the U.S. Virgin Islands after Irma and Maria, the Red Cross is supporting shelters, serving meals and snacks, and distributing relief supplies. This includes:
·         Serving more than 128,200 meals and snacks
·         Distributing more than 253,700 relief items

·         Providing more than 3,900 mental health and health services to people in need 

Monday, October 9, 2017

My Red Cross Intern Experience

My name is Kaitlyn and I am graduating from Texas Tech University with a degree in public relations in December. Over the past two years, I have learned many skills and techniques from some of the best and most qualified professors. With the end of my undergraduate career nearing, I wanted an opportunity to apply what I’ve learned to the real world.

In school, one of the first questions they ask you is “what field of public relations do you want to work in?” and I always said nonprofit. I started volunteering when I was 5 and never really stopped so for me, a nonprofit made perfect sense. Getting to work while also serving others and the community is an absolute ideal job for me.

In one of my senior level courses, we were assigned to write a mock press release for different chapters of the American Red Cross. I had been previously CPR and First Aid certified by the American Red Cross so I knew some things about them, but this assignment really opened my eyes. I ended up reading a handful of testimonies and was blown away by how big of an impact this organization had on so many communities.

Months after that assignment, I was walking down the hallway and noticed a flyer to become an intern for the American Red Cross. I grabbed it, called my mom to tell her about it and then applied for the position within two hours of learning about it. I was so nervous but so excited because something about it just felt like it was meant to be. I ended up talking on the phone to a few different directors and immediately knew that these were people I wanted to work with and for.

Fast forward a few weeks and I have now been the South Plains American Red Cross intern for a month! My first day on the job was the same day Hurricane Harvey made landfall so you can imagine how big of a whirlwind it’s been. I definitely wasn’t expecting this to be part of my experience, but I have already learned so much and been able to apply every single thing I’ve learned in school.

With Hurricane Irma and Maria following Harvey, the American Red Cross has been incredibly busy. It’s been amazing to see the responses from my directors, my community and all of the volunteers who are so willing to serve our neighbors in need. The people I work with on a daily basis and the people who come in to donate and volunteer remind me exactly why my answer was always “nonprofit.”

I am so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to learning much more at the American Red Cross this year! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


September 12, 2017

The American Red Cross continues to work around the clock to provide shelter, food, comfort and other emergency support to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

  • Overnight, more than 5,000 people sought refuge in 30 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas. To date, there have been more than 364,000 overnight shelter stays for Hurricane Harvey.
  • Along with our partners, we have served almost 1.7 million meals and snacks in Texas. 
  • More than 3,200 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in Texas, with more than 475 on the way.
  • Almost 190 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies.
  • Mental health and health services professionals have provided more than 57,000 contacts to provide support and care to those affected.
  • We’ve distributed more than 383,000 relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items in Texas.
  • More than 64 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The apps provide shelter locations and real-time information so people can help protect themselves and their loved-ones.