Monday, September 26, 2016

TN Red Cross Now Helping with IA Floods, Still Helping with LA Floods

Over the weekend, Red Cross volunteers (including one from Tennessee) have been responding to flooding in Iowa. Volunteers from our state are continuing to deploy and serve flood victims in Louisiana as well. The American Red Cross will continue to monitor weather conditions across the country.
With the change of season comes a change in weather. Download our free Emergency app and set up alerts to prepare for any severe weather this fall:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Southeast Tennessee Heroes Luncheon 2016 - Keynote Speaker, Randy Boyd

The ninth annual Heroes Luncheon is Wednesday, October 19 at The Chattanoogan Hotel. This annual event recognizes every day ordinary people who make extraordinary contributions by putting their needs aside to help others in our community.

Randy Boyd is this year’s keynote speaker. Mr. Boyd was sworn in on January 17, 2015 by Governor Bill Haslam to serve as the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The department is responsible for recruiting business and industry to the state as well as Tennessee’s overall economic growth.

Prior to joining TNECD, Mr. Boyd founded Radio Systems Corporation from which he is currently taking a leave of absence. Radio Systems is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee and has over 700 associates worldwide with offices in seven countries. The company produces over 4,600 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PetSafe, and SportDOG. It is a privately held corporation with sales over $370 million. He is also owner of Boyd Sports LLC, owner of the Tennessee Smokies Baseball team, the AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and the Johnson City Cardinals, a rookie league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

He is also on the Board of many non-profit organizations. Of particular note, he is the Chairman of tnAchieves, a mentor-assisted scholarship program that has sent over 10,000 first generation community college students across the state of Tennessee all through private donations and in 2015 is providing operational support for students participating in the Tennessee Promise in 85 counties.
In 2013, he took a year leave of absence from his company to serve Governor Bill Haslam in a volunteer role as his Special Advisor on Higher Education assisting in the development of the Drive to 55 initiatives and the Tennessee Promise. The Tennessee Promise will provide free tuition and fees to community college to approximately 15,000 Tennesseans per year, all matched with a trained, volunteer mentor.

In addition to serving as Commissioner of ECD, he is also Chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Sub-Cabinet, Co-Chairman of the Rural Taskforce and Chairman of Launch Tennessee that supports entrepreneurship across the state, and Chairman of the Aviation Task force which is tasked with maintaining our nation leading airport infrastructure.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Nashville Area Volunteer of the Month, Debbie Ament de Nunez - August 2016

Disaster Action Team (DAT) member, Debbie Ament de Nunez is the August Volunteer of the Month. Debbie became a Red Cross volunteer in 2014, and since hasn't looked back.

Debbie first joined the Red Cross because she was interested in helping people affected by disaster with therapy dogs, but soon found that she could take her talents to a new level by joining DAT.  Debbie recalls her first DAT call as one of her favorite memories.

"I was just very impressed by how this organization operates and helps people, so that’s when I knew I wanted to be a part of it," said Debbie.

As part of her DAT responsibilities, Debbie spends a lot of time actively recruiting volunteers in Sumner County.  She holds monthly meetings to get volunteers there more acquainted with local government officials and first responders, so that everyone is prepared in case of a disaster.

Debbie has spent the last several months planning a special disaster training to take place this Saturday, September 17 at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville.

"The goal of the training is to educate and train people on how to run a shelter and to provide an overview of Disaster Cycle Services.  We will event have computers there so that interested people can begin the volunteer process."

Thank you, Debbie, for your hard work and dedication to the American Red Cross!

Local Red Cross Volunteers Provide Support to Thousands of People Following Louisiana Floods

One month ago, devastating floodwaters covered parts of Louisiana, affecting an estimated 120,000 homes, leaving thousands of people with little or nothing. The American Red Cross responded immediately to provide shelter and comfort – and we are still there, making sure people have what they need and helping them plan their next steps.

More than 4,000 American Red Cross workers—over 150 from Tennessee— have worked tirelessly to help people in Louisiana following devastating floods there in August. So far, the Red Cross and community partners have:

Supported 72 Shelters with more than 73,000 overnight stays
Served more than 1,050,000 meals and snacks
Distributed more than 682,000 relief items
Provided more than 35,000 health services and emotional support contacts

In addition to still providing shelter, food and relief supplies, the Red Cross is also helping residents get on the path to recovery by connecting them to the critical services and resources they need through casework, as well as providing financial assistance for those who qualify.

Thank you to the dozens of Tennessee volunteers who have supported the relief efforts and continue to serve Louisiana!  You have truly made a difference!

Regional Executive Corner with Joel R. Sullivan - September 2016

September is National Preparedness Month, and the American Red Cross is participating by encouraging everyone to make a home fire escape plan.  Having a home fire escape plan is critical so everyone in the household knows what to do if a fire occurs.

Large-scale disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and floods always make the news, but the most common disaster threat people face across the country is a fire in their home.  We urge residents to develop a home fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in their household.

Here are a few steps to include when creating your fire escape plan:

Walk through the home and look at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows;
List two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths;
Pick a place to meet outside, a safe distance away from the home;
Conduct drills. Practice until every member of the household, including children, can escape the home in less than two minutes;
Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1; and
Teach everyone to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test the alarms monthly.  Install new batteries at least once a year or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions.  Replace alarms every ten years.

In addition to making your fire escape plan, you can make a difference in our community by volunteering for the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.  Please email David Kitchen at to sign up for a smoke alarm canvassing/install event and find out others ways to become involved.

Thanks for your support,


TN Red Cross Volunteers Still Deployed to LA, FL

Nearly 60 Tennessee Red Cross volunteers are still helping folks in Louisiana after devastating floods hit the state a month ago. Additionally, we have a couple of volunteers deployed to Florida to help those affected by Hermine.
Our volunteers play a vital role in helping the Red Cross respond to weather-related disasters in Tennessee and across the country. Red Cross volunteers are the topic of this week's Weather Red Report.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Southeast Tennessee Volunteer of the Month, Rod Davis - August 2016

Congratulations to our longtime volunteer, Rod Davis, on being the August Volunteer of the Month. Rod has been working with Disaster Cycle Services and Preparedness Health and Safety for 20 years. He has been on multiple deployments, taught CPR to community members and his two sons, and responded to countless house fires. Rod believes there are many community members in need and it is his responsibility to be a part of an organization that helps others. During his time with the Red Cross he has made countless friends and has several memorable stories.

One of his most notable American Red Cross stories happened earlier this month. Rod, who works for a construction company, was working on a house with his sons, Marcus and Nicholas, and joking around with Mr. Farris, the homeowner. Rod stepped outside to cut a piece of wood when Marcus ran outside to say that Mr. Farris was showing signs of having a heart attack. Rod, Marcus, and Nicholas immediately sprang into action and began performing CPR on Mr. Farris after calling 911. Rod did CPR for about 15 minutes stopping twice because Mr. Farris came into consciousness until emergency personnel arrived and delivered AED shocks. This brought his heart back to a normal rhythm and he was immediately taken to a hospital.

A doctor said that it was a miracle that Mr. Farris was alive and although the chances of survival even with CPR were only 20 percent, it likely saved his life. Rod has continued to stay in contact with Mr. Farris and he checks on him every other day. Rod is thankful that he and his kids were taught lifesaving American Red Cross skills, and that the three of them were able to be there for Mr. Farris in his time of need. Mr. and Mrs. Farris are extremely thankful to Rod for what he was able to do for them and have even asked him to teach CPR to them so they will know what to do if they are ever in a situation again where they need to.

This is just one story that Rod has from his time with American Red Cross. When asked why he volunteers he states “No money in the world could keep me from helping people in the Red Cross. The same people we assist, we may need their help one day, you never know. During our community tragedies, some of the people I had met on deployments were there. I felt like all those years I volunteered came around full circle.”

Thank you for all you do Rod, we appreciate you and thank you for using your American Red Cross skills to save Mr. Farris’s life!