Monday, May 19, 2014

Three Ways to Show Support on World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day

By Kassidy Ketron, Intern

We can’t think of a better way to spend your favorite holiday — World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day — than by supporting all the hard work our volunteers do.

In the past year, your donations helped the American Red Cross respond to about 70,000 disasters, 
provided more than 29,000 overnight stays, and provided more than 1.8 million meals and snacks.

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.

In 2013, the Red Cross responded to 52,000 home fires across the U.S. and served 226,000 people in the process.

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 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. The best way to show your support, though, is by becoming a volunteer. Volunteering doesn’t always mean responding to disasters in the middle of the night. Volunteering can be anything from office work, writing blogs or organizing the warehouse.

Not only is volunteering a rewarding experience, but you are also helping people in your community. What is a better way to support your local Red Cross by helping in any way you can? Join our everyday heroes today!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Reason You Need the Wildfire App: Red Flag Warnings

Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service.

By Kassidy Ketron, Intern

In the South Plains it’s not uncommon for Red Flag warnings, especially during the drought.

A red flag warning, according to National Weather Service, means that conditions are occurring or will occur which could lead to the development of large and dangerous fires.

Because of the dry climate, we think it’s important you know what to do in case there is a wildfire near your or your loved ones.

The American Red Cross’ Wildfire App for iPhone and Android is a great way to do that. It’s features include:
  • Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even before/during/after wildfires, even if there is no data connectivity.
  • Wildfire News section with state-by-state links to all fire-fighting agencies’ Twitter feeds and websites ensuring the most recent developments on current wildfires.
  • Click-to-call access to your state’s 511 network for the latest traffic information in case of evacuation.
  • Let family and friends know you are okay with the customizable “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text.
  • Find open Red Cross shelters in your area when you need help.
  • Stay safe when the lights are out with the Toolkit, including a strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions.
  • Prepare for the worst by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation.
  • Earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your wildfire knowledge with interactive quizzes.

Empower your family to stay safe and remain calm in an emergency by learning how to make and practice your family disaster plan.
  • Meet with your family or household members.
  • Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
  • 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.
  • Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency
  • Plan what to do if you have to evacuate 

It’s never a bad idea to get ready for the wildest weather, especially if you live in West Texas, so download the Wildfire app and stay safe!