Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hotel Fire Safety Tips

Fires are scary when they happen in your own home, but what if they happen when you're staying in a hotel?  Here are a few extra steps you need to take to ensure you'll be prepared if a fire breaks out in your hotel.

Be safe when traveling

  • Choose a hotel/motel that is protected by both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system.
    When you check in, ask the front desk what the fire alarm sounds like.
    When you enter your room, review the escape plan posted in your room.
    Take the time to find the exits and count the number of doors between your room and the exit. Make sure the exits are unlocked. If they are locked, report it to management right away.
    Keep your room key by your bed and take it with you if there is a fire.
    If the alarm sounds, leave right away, closing all doors behind you. Use the stairs — never use elevators during a fire.
    If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.

If you can't escape ...

  • Shut off fans and air conditioners.
  • Stuff wet towels in the crack around the doors.
  • Call the fire department and let them know your location.
  • Wait at the window and signal with a flashlight or light colored cloth.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Monday, February 11, 2013

Red Cross Recruiting Volunteers Ahead of Tornado Season

First-Ever Texas/Oklahoma Exercise to Provide Training Opportunity

Easter week last year, 17 tornadoes ripped through the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Weeks later, a deadly outbreak devastated hundreds of families across Oklahoma. As is their custom, the American Red Cross responded immediately to get help to those in need.

One of the first tasks undertaken by Red Cross volunteers is a disaster assessment. This duty is critical to the organization because it helps them determine how many families are affected, how many meals need to be prepared and how many volunteers will be needed to respond. Today, the American Red Cross is seeking to increase its pool of disaster assessment volunteers in advance of tornado season by offering a pool of upcoming training courses.

“It’s a simple process to become a Red Cross volunteer,” said Shannon Smith, Executive Director, South Plains Regional Chapter. “Just jump on our website at and click on the volunteer link. You’ll get all of the instructions on how to register and you’ll receive your next steps.”

The Red Cross is urging new volunteers to get trained in February so that they can participate in the agency’s first tornado disaster drill that will take place across the states of Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

“We’re tornado prone in both Texas and Oklahoma so we have to prepare ahead of these storms,” said Smith. “The time to take your training is when the sky is blue so we’re hopeful that many people will take the opportunity to join us in February for training and then work with us on this important drill in early March.”

Anyone interested in joining the American Red Cross should go to and click on the “Volunteer” link or call 806-765-8534. To prepare for spring storms, visit