Friday, February 3, 2017

Don't Let a Kitchen Fire Sideline Your Super Bowl Party

Don't let a kitchen fire sideline your Super Bowl party this weekend! Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries, with home fires more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in the home.

We have four kitchen tips to help you "advance" your fire safety skills while preparing food for yourself and your party guests:

1. Keep your eye on the ball. Do not leave the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even to quickly catch that instant replay, turn off the stove first.

2. Sideline flammable items. Keep your guests and anything that can catch fire—like foam fingers, pom-poms, paper football plates and jerseys—away from the stove.

3. Run pet interference. Keep furry friends off cooking surfaces and counter tops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.

4. Stay in the game. Remain in the home while simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food. Check it regularly and use a timer (not the game clock) to remind you that food is cooking.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

TN Red Crossers Continue to Help Those Affected by Southern Storms

Here are some photos that were taken yesterday of the devastation in Albany and Ashburn, Georgia, two of the many Southern communities hit by last weekend's storms and tornadoes. Reports indicate more than 1,100 homes have been affected across Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. This number is likely to increase once all inaccessible areas are accessed.

Over 130 people in Georgia and Mississippi are still seeking refuge in 7 Red Cross and community shelters. Several Tennessee Red Crossers have deployed to Georgia and Mississippi this week to help,

The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Southern Tornadoes and Storms by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word TORNADO to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from this disaster.

Photo Credits: Daniel Cima/American Red Cross

Monday, January 23, 2017

TN Red Crossers Deploy to GA & MS to Assist with Storm Relief Efforts

Update: New deployments added

In response to the weekend's devastating storms in Georgia and Mississippi, responders from several Red Cross chapters throughout Tennessee have headed or will be heading to help those affected in those states. Along with the 15 who've deployed, 12 more responders are headed out tomorrow. Additionally, six Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles from our state are deploying. 

Thanks to all of those deploying to help folks affected by the storms.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Regional Executive Corner with Joel R. Sullivan - January 2017

Happy New Year!

The year 2016 was one of the busiest years in recent history for the Tennessee Region of the American Red Cross.  From home fires and floods, to tornadoes and wildfires, our volunteers showed up when our neighbors needed us most.  Our volunteers were deployed across the Nation to share their time and talent in large disasters. These deployments were in addition to the home and apartment fires we respond to every day.

We provided help and hope to service members and their families in their time of need and prepared them for deployment, as well as, welcomed them home.  We taught lifesaving classes in CPR and provided critical blood to patients who needed it.

Our fabulous donors also shared their treasure to ensure that the resources were there to accomplish our mission.  Here’s a look at some of the services we provided together in 2016:
(January 2016 – November 2016)

2,596 home fire responses
8,277 smoke alarms installed
5,731 children prepared for disasters and emergencies through the Pillowcase Project
71,192 blood donations
4,339 services provided to military members and their families
5,511 volunteers

These numbers are very impressive.  I am very proud of our Tennessee volunteers sharing their time, talent and treasure in ways much greater than I could have imagined.

Thank YOU, for continuing to serve the great State of Tennessee.  I look forward to another great year serving with you in 2017!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Southeast Tennessee Volunteers of the Month, Jan and Larry Turner - December 2016

Jan and Larry Turner were our December Volunteers of the Month.  The Turners have been American Red Cross volunteers in Southeast TN for six years and have worked with multiple positions including, Disaster Assessment, Sheltering, and most recently, Disaster Action Team. Disaster Assessment has become their favorite GAP because they are able to go into disaster affected areas and really see what the clients have gone through.

When asked why they volunteer Jan said “I have had a very blessed life, from my childhood, to my marriage, to my daughter- I felt like I have a lot of payback to do.” She went on to say that she really appreciates how group oriented the chapter in Southeast TN is and enjoys the team effort.

Jan and Larry have deployed three times, with their most recent deployment to Gatlinburg, TN for sheltering during the wildfires. They received a call at 10:00 p.m. the night the fires occurred and started to head that way immediately. After a long night of unloading trailers and preparing shelters Jan and Larry continued to work through the next day. By evening all hotels in the immediate area had filled up, so they ended sleeping in a shelter that night.  Jan was very thankful for the experience of not having housing for her first evening of the deployment. She said that being able to walk into a shelter and know what other families were going through really put into perspective why they volunteer with the American Red Cross.

The Turner’s have met some incredible volunteers along the way and have had great experiences both in the chapter and while deployed. When asked what their favorite memory with the Red Cross is, they shared about a deployment in Florida when they had stopped at a restaurant to get food and the people around them started applauding. Jan and Larry didn’t initially know the applause was meant for them and the work they were doing for Hurricane Matthew until someone told them. This showed them how much the community cared about the work they were there to do.

Jan and Larry Turner are quick to respond if needed without a second thought. We appreciate their flexibility, warm approach to any situation, and willingness to help in all circumstances.

Nashville Area Volunteer of the Month, Joyce Page - January 2017

Joyce Page has a spirit of giving. She volunteers for multiple volunteer agencies in Nashville and is actively involved in her church. She stops by the Red Cross Nashville Area Chapter every Monday to help with various projects and answering the phones. She’s been a tremendous help in the year she’s volunteered with us, and is the January 2017 volunteer of the month.

Joyce started out volunteering with the Red Cross as a community events volunteer. She attends numerous health fairs and events around town on behalf of the Red Cross. Many people aren’t aware of all the services the Red Cross provides to the community, so Joyce helps inform people about the Red Cross lines of service. She first learned about the assistance the Red Cross offers to home fire victims after having a home fire of her own decades ago. With the Red Cross mission close to her heart, she decided to become a volunteer after her retirement.

Recently, Joyce hand wrote over 500 cards to donors to thank them for their donations that enable her to volunteer. She also answered phones at the WKRN News 2 phone bank telethon to raise funds for disaster relief.

Kind. Sweet. Gentle. Conscientious. Thorough. A pleasure to work with. Always willing to help. This is how Joyce is known around the chapter office.

“I’d love to have a bunch more of her!” said Sherry Ricketts, Volunteer Specialist.

When asked what her favorite part of volunteering is, Joyce said, “Giving back!” We are extremely grateful to have Joyce as a volunteer at the Nashville Area Chapter.

To learn more about our lines of service, visit
If you are interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer, visit

Letter from Mid-West Tennessee Executive Director, David Hicks - January 2017

Happy New Year!

I hope that each of you and your families had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed some relaxing, quality time with your friends and loved ones. I can’t believe we’ve celebrated the New Year and are already knee deep in January!

It’s important to take a look at the past several months and truly celebrate the accomplishments that you personally had a hand in. I think we would all agree that 2016 was a TREMENDOUS year for our chapter and the Red Cross organization! Let’s consider what your hard work as volunteers helped our chapter accomplish from January- November 2016. It included:

193 Home Fire Events (Cases Opened)
1,874 Smoke Alarm Installations
368 Pillowcase Project Participants/ Recipients

These statistics don’t even begin to tell the story of the impact made on the locations many of you were deployed to over the last 12 months.  From California and Texas to Mississippi and Louisiana and eventually to the east side of the state in Gatlinburg, you represented our chapter WELL! You not only helped change lives through your dedicated and compassionate service, but your own lives were changed as well.

With all of the above in our rear-view mirror, we can now begin to turn our chapter’s full attention to 2017. We can answer the call of a new year to our Red Cross organization (and chapter) to continue to provide disaster relief and assistance to our 14 counties and other areas in need around the country. Many of you will help us write the script of the year to come! When we look back a year from now, you will read 2017’s accomplishments for our chapter and you’ll be able to take pride in the fact that you personally played a significant role.  Who would want to miss out on the opportunity to impact the lives of others (and your own) in 2017?

I feel confident each of you will “answer the bell” in 2017 as you have over and over this past year. Who’s with me?!