Friday, July 20, 2018

Download Emergency App to Help During Weather Emergencies

The American Red Cross urges people to download the free Red Cross Emergency app to help them stay safe and connected during severe weather and other threats.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. This latest app from the Red Cross provides information about what to do in case of floods, thunderstorms, hot weather, tornadoes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to
Some of the many features of the app include:
  • - The emergency alerts are available for the user’s location and to monitor where friends and family live.
  • - Users can turn alerts on and off to fit their situation.
  • - A single map provides shelter locations and weather information.
  • - Users can easily toggle between English and Spanish.
  • - Information is included on emergency first aid for situations such as heat-related emergencies and water safety for lakes and beaches.
  • - The app covers what to do in emergencies that affect a large area, such as mudslides and snow storms.
  • - Pre-loaded content ensures guidance from Red Cross experts is available even without mobile connectivity.
  • - The home fires section provides information on how to prevent fires, protect loved ones and what to do after a fire occurs.
  • - The make-a-plan feature helps households draw up their individual disaster plans.
“Family Safe” is another unique feature that allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay, even if that person hasn’t downloaded the Emergency App. Using “Family Safe,” the user can send someone a message and their response of either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe” will come to the user. If they are not safe, the user can call them or see their location on a map. The app also has an “I’m Safe” button which allows users to let loved ones know they are out of harm’s way.
Users who have downloaded other Red Cross apps will still be able to use those individual versions if they prefer.
While apps can help prepare someone for disasters, it’s important to remember that downloading any of the Red Cross apps is not a substitute for training. To learn more about or register for Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED courses, visit

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

United We Stand - Northeast Tennessee - July 2018

On June 21, the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces (SAF) volunteers delivered 36 pairs of shoes to Volunteer Services at the Mountain Home VA Hospital. This group also contributed six Kindles with cases, five portable DVD players, and five Blue-Ray players to the Community Living Center at the VA Hospital. The Hospital’s Diabetes Clinic received roughly $500 in diabetes educational materials for veterans from SAF investment funds. These funds were received through a grant by the Red Cross National Headquarters to support our local VA Facility. The VA Hospital continues to be a strong partner with our SAF arm, and we look forward to working together to better serve our veterans and military families in the future.

Northeast Tennessee Volunteer Opportunities and Reminders - July 2018


  • Disaster Action Team (DAT) Volunteers
    Volunteers needed to respond to single-family fires.
  • Clerical Volunteers
    Volunteers needed to assist with administrative tasks; including staffing the front desk, answering phone calls, and assisting with other day to day tasks.
  • Business Operations Volunteer
    Volunteers needed to assist with facility maintenance and operations.
  • Hero Care Network Regional Caseworker/Follow Up Volunteer
    Volunteer needed to ensure military families’ needs are met when faced with an emergency.

*If you or someone you know is interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Angela Morris for more information (


  • Don’t forget to download and log your volunteer hours through the “Volunteer Connection” mobile application. This app is both Android and iOS compatible.
  • Visit our local Johnson City Blood Donation Center to donate blood at your convenience. Appointments can be scheduled online at or can be scheduled through the “Blood Donor American Red Cross” mobile app. Help us fill the #missingtypes.

Northeast Tennessee Important Dates and Events - July 2018

  • All Volunteer Meetings
    DATES:  08/02/2018; 09/06/2018; 10/02/2018; 11/01/2018; 12/02/2018; 01/03/2019; 02/05/2019; 03/07/2019; 04/02/2019; 05/02/2019
    TIME:  5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
    LOCATION: Red Cross NETN Office | 660 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport, TN 37663
    INFORMATION: Formal invitation to all volunteers will be distributed.
  • “Donut Forget”
    DATES:  09/14/2018; 12/14/2018; 03/08/2019; 06/14/2019
    TIME:  7:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    LOCATION:  Red Cross NETN Office | 660 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport, TN 37663
    INFORMATION:  These events are invitation only for all active volunteers. This will be an opportunity for volunteers to enjoy coffee and donuts while logging volunteer hours.

  • 07/24/2018 | 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM
    Covenant Presbyterian Church - 603 Sunset Drive, Johnson City, TN 37604
  • 08/05/2018 | 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM
    Notre Dame Catholic Church - 212 Mt. Bethel Road, Greeneville, TN 37745
  • 08/16/2018 | 11:45 AM – 4:15 PM
    University School - 68 Martha Culp Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37614

*If you or anyone you know is interested in hosting a blood drive, please visit for additional information.

Letter from Northeast Tennessee Executive Director, Kalen Collins - July 2018

Kalen Collins

On June 21, staff and volunteers had the pleasure of hosting a Day of Caring with the United Way of Greater Kingsport. Volunteers from Eastman and Salesforce offered a day of their time to assist the Northeast Tennessee Red Cross Chapter. Thanks to their generosity and kindness, we now have freshly painted walls and chairs, new light bulbs, clean vehicles, and safer homes with our smoke alarm installations! We appreciate the continued support from the United Way of Greater Kingsport, and those volunteering from Eastman and Salesforce! We are already looking forward to next year!

Photos from Day of Caring:



The Northeast Tennessee Chapter’s Annual Board of Directors Meeting was held on June 26th. During this time, we were able to celebrate goals that were achieved throughout FY18; this includes meeting all volunteer hour requirements, Pillowcase Project preparedness presentations, fire escape plans that were completed, and smoke alarm installations through the Sound The Alarm, Savel A Life (STASAL) campaign. Not only did we have the opportunity to celebrate the Chapter’s achievements, we also got to celebrate some amazing volunteers! These volunteers were acknowledged for their continued service to the Red Cross; Chair Daniel Blair presented the awards. (Pictured below: Deb Reynolds, Teresa Rhoton, Sarah Sluss; Art Hammarlund; Sandra Vaughn; Stewart Chapman; Don Davis; Jim Brice)



We were also able to celebrate the service of Jason Cody, who has served on the board of directors for the past three years, as well as Daniel Blair, serving as the FY18 Board Chair. The FY19-20 Executive Board was elected and includes Clark Parker, Chair; Kenrick Vidale, Vice Chair; and Jackie Hewitt, Secretary.

The Northeast Tennessee Chapter is aiming to engage the youth, volunteers and the communities that we serve. We are looking forward to an energized and prosperous 2019!

Northeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight: Don Davis - July 2018

After 32 years working for the Eastman Chemical Company, Don Davis decided to retire and move to volunteerism at the American Red Cross. He has spent nearly 20 years bringing hope and comfort to individuals and families affected by disaster. Don says his Red Cross experiences over the years have been very enjoyable. When asked what he has liked best, he said, “I have enjoyed helping people in need – but helping in a controlled way where I can see results. By working along with others as part of a team and always working towards a goal.”

Don says he has deployed on more than 40 Disaster Relief Operations all over the country, usually working in Damage Assessment or Mass Feeding. He has experience in Public Affairs and Sheltering as well, but prefers the first two assignments. He says he saw the worst destruction in Katrina and the most wonderful people in the West Virginia Floods. When asked about any experiences that stood out in his mind, he related to two:

·         A family he met doing mass feeding while deployed to Hurricane Frances in Florida.  A mother, father, and two teens were in significant need. The father recently laid off from a long-term job experienced a detached retina and with no insurance was in a difficult position – medically and financially.  The Red Cross could provide immediate financial support; but were not a long-term plan for this family.  Don was able to match the family with a local church that found employment for the mother and both teens. The father found a program to provide the surgery he needed, and the family was on the road to recovery. 

·         When doing mass feeding in Nashville following a tornado several years ago, he worked with local volunteers from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. In conversation with these volunteers, he learned of a weekly program where children get to experiment with various musical instruments. He discovered they did not have any dulcimers and found a way to help outside the Red Cross.  One of Don’s hobbies is making dulcimers – so he made them two, and the instruments are still in use at the museum today!

Locally, Don has taken the Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to schools and has spoken with children about disaster and emergency preparedness. He does many “odd jobs” when needed, and helps with various fundraising and chapter programs. In recent years, Don has been very involved with the Home Fire Campaign, currently serving as the coordinator. The Chapter goal for this year was to install 1,000 alarms in our counties.  Remarkably, the chapter has installed double the goal and has installed 2,200 alarms. 

In addition to his work with the Red Cross, Don also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA. After so many years of sharing his talent with the community, he has decided it is time to retire from his volunteer jobs and focus on more personal pursuits such as enjoying his grandchildren!

When asked what advice he would give to a new Red Cross volunteer, Don responded – “I would advise any new volunteer to look at and experiment with several volunteer positions. Then pick the one you really enjoy and give it 100%.”   

At the Annual Meeting on June 26th, Don was presented the Golden Smoke Alarm Award and the Clara Barton Coin for all his contributions throughout his volunteer career. Congratulations Don, for a job well done!  You will be greatly missed by the Northeast Tennessee family!

East Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight: David Duweltz - July 2018

A French native, David Duweltz and his family temporarily relocated to Knoxville, TN for his wife, Caroline’s job. At home, David works in customer interface for a paper manufacturer. At the Red Cross of East TN, he has jumped in with both feet volunteering nearly every day since joining the chapter in April. He has assisted with Sound the Alarm, disaster preparedness exercises, fire safety house programs to students, volunteer services and a host of administrative and community outreach projects.

In addition to enthusiasm, David has brought a creative perspective to his volunteerism. East TN wants to celebrate David’s drive and his gift for out-of-the-box thinking. Learn a bit more about him below:

What is your favorite word? 

What sound or noise do you love? 
My daughter, Juliette, calling me Papa

If you could try a profession that isn't a current or past job, what would that be? 

Other than your current home, where would you like to live?
By the ocean or in the mountains in the snow, southeast of France 

What natural gift or talent do you wish you had?
Being an artist, creative person or musician

Who is your favorite musician? 
Pearl Jam

What historical figure would you most like to meet and why? 
Emperor Napoleon because he is keystone to France

What is your favorite color? 

What are you reading/what books are on your bedside table?
Science Fiction & Fantasy

What do you love about volunteering at the Red Cross of East Tennessee?
Meeting new people, helping where ever the need is