Monday, October 20, 2014

Red Cross Offers Tips for a Safe Halloween

Tips to avoid falls, costume disasters, traffic accidents

Halloween is just ahead and the American Red Cross offers the top ten steps people should take to stay safe as they don their costumes for Trick-or-Treat fun.

Halloween’s greatest hazards aren’t ghouls and goblins, but falls, costume mishaps and traffic accidents, so the Red Cross is offering the following tips to help make this Halloween safe:
1.    Look for flame-resistant costumes.
2.    Plan the Trick-or-Treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.
3.    Make sure the Trick-or-Treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing to be seen.
4.    Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
5.    Masks that cover the eyes can make it hard to see; use face paint instead.
6.    Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
7.    Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs. Homeowners should restrain their pets as they welcome trick-or-treaters.
8.    If someone is welcoming trick-or-treaters at their home, they should make sure the outdoor lights are on and sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps.
9.    Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
10.    Use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.

People should download the free Red Cross First Aid App before they head out in case they need it for their little monsters. Families and household members can find information on how to be prepared for emergencies on any day of the year by visiting redcross.org.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Red Cross Offers Flood Cleanup Tips

Follow these tips for a safe clean-up:
  • Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud, including canned goods and containers with food or liquid that have been sealed shut. When in doubt, throw it out.
  •  Be careful when moving furnishings or debris since they may be water logged and heavier.
  • Some cleaning solutions can cause toxic fumes and other hazards if mixed together. If you smell a strong odor or your eyes water from the fumes or mixed chemicals, open a window and get out of your home.
  • Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected (e.g. mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys).
  • Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with flood waters.
  • Clean hard surfaces (e.g. flooring, countertops and appliances) thoroughly with hot water and soap or a detergent.

The American Red Cross offers the following informational resources in both English and Spanish for returning to your home after a flood:

Repairing Your Flooded Home (Spanish)

You can also download the free Red Cross Flood app for tips on what to do before, during and after a flood. Download it directly from the iTunes and Google Play app stores.

You can receive more safety/preparedness information by visiting redcross.org.