Friday, February 28, 2014

Humanitarians to honor during Black History Month

By Kassidy Ketron


In honor of the end of Black History Month, we would like to remind you of a few very important people to the American Red Cross and how you can honor their memory.

Frances Elliot Davis

We’ll start with Frances Elliot Davis. She was born in 1881 in Shelby, North Carolina and was determined to chase her dreams of becoming a nurse during a time when it was difficult to do so for an African American woman.

She became one of the first African American women to be accepted to Freedman’s Hospital Training for Nurses and passed the exam given to white nurses, which was considered more rigorous, she became the first African American to attend the American Red Cross at Columbia University.

She served as director of nurses at a hospital, organized a training school for nurses, managed health clinics, established a day nursery and caught the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, just to name a few of her accomplishments.

Davis spent most of her life dedicated to helping others and volunteering her time. Let her inspire you to volunteer your time and services to the American Red Cross.

Frederick Douglass  — photo courtesy of PBS

American antislavery author and activist Frederick Douglass is said to have assisted American Red Cross founder Clara Barton to rally national support for the organization.

Douglass and Barton met after the Civil War and Douglass lent his support in 1882 to the Red Cross “Appeal to the American People” to raise money to assist victims of the Mississippi River floods.

His support for Barton and the Red Cross led him to become one of the founding members and his early participation in its creation is said to have paved the way for Steve D. Bullock to become the American Red Cross’s first African American Acting President in 1999.

Not only did Douglass lead the early civil rights movement, but he recognized the importance of rallying support and funds for the American Red Cross.

To honor the memory of Douglass and help people in your community who have been affected by a disaster donate to your local chapter.

Jerome H. Holland

Jerome H. Holland, the Red Cross’ first African-American Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Red Cross, led the organization’s dedication to the health and well-being of victims needing blood services.

The volunteer position of Chairman is the highest leading official position in the Red Cross. He served as Chairman, until he passed away in New York on January 13, 1985. During his time as Chairman, he facilitated a positive relationship with the Red Crescent. The Red Cross renamed the research and development lab in honor of Dr. Holland in 1987.

Dr. Holland spent his life his life helping other. He served on nine boards of major U.S. companies, researched for the Pew Memorial Trust, was the first African American to be awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Award in 1972, as well as serving as the first African-American Chairman of Planned Parenthood in 1968.

In honor of the many things Dr. Holland did to help others and his country, find out ways you can prepare to help others by taking a class and becoming certified in one of the American Red Cross’ many certification classes.

The American Red Cross is proud to honor the many humanitarians who helped make the organization what it is today. Do your part in honoring these noble people by visiting our website and seeing how you can help.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Four Easy Ways You Can Be Humble on Be Humble Day

By Kassidy Ketron

In Honor of Be Humble Day that was on Saturday, we would like to show you a few easy ways you can be humble and give back to your community.

1. When a family on your neighborhood is woken up in the middle of the night by a fire the American 
Red Cross will be there to help them. To do that, though, the Red Cross needs your help.

Your monetary donations help us provide warm meals, clothes and every day necessities that are lost in a fire. This means you are helping people in your community when they need it the most. It’s not time consuming and very easy, which is a great thing and you are able to offer support to someone who has lost everything.

2. When a fire wreaks havoc on a home, the whole family is affected and the smallest victims, the children, may find comfort in something soft and cuddly to hold on to.

The American Red Cross has just the thing. By adopting Piper the Puppy, you can comfort a child who has just experienced devastation by helping them to know you care and are there to help. By adopting Piper the Puppy for $100, not only can bring a smile to a child’s face, but your name is also written on the paw so they know who cares.

3. Donating blood also is another great way to help people not only in your community, but across the country, as well. Up to one pint of blood can save three lives and what better gift than the gift of life? Donating blood is quick and a wonderful way to offer your support.

4. If you are interested in getting more involved with the American Red Cross, another great way to celebrate Be Humble Day is by signing up to participate in the South Plains Regional Chapter’s Strikes, Spares and Super Heroes: Red Cross Heroes Bowling for Relief event. It’s a great way to help provide support to those who could be affected by disaster at any moment. Your participation in this event will help provide those warm meals and necessities to someone who could be just down the street or across town.

Disaster are almost always unexpected, but with your donation, Piper the Puppy adoption, or blood donation, you can help the American Red Cross be as prepared as possible for when tragedy strikes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Red Cross’ Guide to a Successful Valentine’s Day

Photo courtesy of

By Kassidy Ketron

Before you prepare a lavish meal for your sweetheart, light every candle in a five-mile radius, or prepare those chocolate covered strawberries sprinkled with nuts, the American Red Cross wants you to keep a few things in mind so this day of love isn’t ruined.

Whether you’re making a five-course meal or turning off all the lights in your home leaving candles as the only option, make sure you know what to do to prevent catching your apron or carpet on fire.
  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food. Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing— away from the stove.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.

 If you fail to follow our preventative steps:
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside in case of fire.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Click here for more information about fire prevention and what to do in case of one.

Assuming you’ve made or purchased a wonderful meal, you sit down with your honey to enjoy it, but they start choking because your charming self said something really funny.

Here’s what you do:
  • Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades five times to dislodge the object.
  • Then, give five quick abdominal thrusts. Stand behind the choking victim, join your hands around their tummy and form a fist. Pull your hands sharply inward and upward. Don’t attempt this technique on a child under a year old.
  • Always call 911 or get someone else to do it when someone is choking.

Prepare yourself as much as possible for the unexpected by downloading the First Aid App by American Red Cross or visit our website to learn more about making sure your Valentine’s Day is disaster free. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Celebrate Disaster Day in the best way

Photo courtesy of

By Kassidy Ketron

Can you believe Disaster Day has already come and gone? Neither can we.

What exactly is Disaster Day, you ask? We have no idea, but we thought it would be a great opportunity to give you some tips to avoid disaster and advice on what to do when it does strike.

Our first set of advice is to Be Red Cross Ready:
  • Know what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in your community
  • Have a family disaster plan and practice it
  • Have an emergency preparedness kit
  • Make sure at least one member of the household is trained in first aid and CPR/AED
  • Take action to help your community to prepare
In the event of a disaster, it’s important to be ready and prepared. Compile a survival kit that you can use at home or easily take with you in case of evacuation.

Here are just a few of the things we suggest you store in your kit:
  • Water — one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food — non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid Kit — Anatomy of a First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Extra cash
  • Click here to read the complete list.
Not only is it important to have a survival kit ready, but a preparedness plan can be just as vital.

To make sure you stay safe:
  • Meet with your family or household members
  • Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team
  • If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed
If separated:
  • Choose two places to meet:
    • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
    • Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
  • Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones.
If you evacuate:
  • Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter, if necessary.
  • Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
  • Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
Make sure you can expect the unexpected, or at least prepare for it as much as possible, by visiting our website and educating yourself.

Now that you are all set, enjoy your day and stay safe. Next year, show Disaster Day what you’re made of.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Groundhog Phil saw his shadow. Now what?

Photo courtesy of

By Kassidy Ketron

As if we haven’t seen enough crazy weather this winter season, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow Sunday, signifying six more weeks of winter.

Although a groundhog’s shadow is straightforward with its weather predictions, sometimes the weatherman’s terminology can be a little confusing.

So, here’s what all of that means:
  • Winter Storm OutlookWinter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
  • Winter Weather AdvisoryWinter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm WatchWinter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
  • Winter Storm WarningLife-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
When there is a warning for winter weather, do your best to make sure you’re prepared for anything from icy roads to a blizzard.
  • WinterizeKeep the gas tank in your vehicle full. This will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • InsulateKeep your home insulated by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep the cold air out.
  • MaintainKeep up with heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned regularly and inspected every year.
  • TravelKeep the heat on in your home if you decide to leave during cold weather. Make sure the temperature is set no lower than 55 ° F.
Occasionally, the South Plains Region will see enough bad winter weather to shut down what seems like entire cities. Do you remember the blizzard that hit the Lubbock area last April?
Photo courtesy of
When such weather hits, here is what you need to know:
  • Running water — Keep the water running, even at a trickle, to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Cabinet doorsOpen kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warm air can circulate around the plumbing. Don’t forget to move any harmful cleaners or household chemicals out of the reach of children.
  • HeatKeep the thermostat set at a constant temperature throughout the day and night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill.
  • DrivingAvoid hitting the road when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. When travel is absolutely necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
To find out more ways to stay safe during bad weather click here.

Making sure you know what the weatherman is saying and how to prepare for any kind of winter is storm is vital, but let’s not forget about the fur babies, and we don’t mean hairy children.
  • Pets/companion animals — Bring them inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
Be sure you are ready to take care of yourself and loved ones when bad weather hits by visiting our website or downloading one of our weather and safety mobile apps.