Monday, March 31, 2014

Southeast Tennessee: Upcoming Disaster Course Training Schedule

Upcoming Disaster Training Schedule for the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee. Interested in attending any of these FREE training courses, contact Emily Fish (emily.fish@redcross.org) or 423-265-3455
April Courses:
  • April 10th – Disaster Services Overview 3:00-4:30pm, Chattanooga Office
  • April17th - Disaster Services Overview 1:00-2:30pm, Cleveland Office
  • April 22nd- Shelter Management 9:00am – 5:00pm, Chattanooga Office
  • April 24th – Frontline Supervision 9:00am – 5:00pm, Chattanooga Office
  • April 29th – Church Shelter Team Training 9:00am-5:00pm CST, Western County
May Courses:
  • May 1st – Frontline Supervision 9:00am – 5:00pm, Cleveland Office
  • May 13th - Church Shelter Team Training 9:00am-5:00pm CST, Western County
  • May 15th - Disaster Services Overview 1:00-2:30pm, Cleveland Office
  • May 20th - Shelter Management 9:00am – 5:00pm, Cleveland Office
  • May 21st – International Humanitarian Law 10:00am-2:00pm, Chattanooga
  • May 22nd- Disaster Services Overview 1:00-2:30pm, Cleveland Office
  • May 27th - Church Shelter Team Training 9:00am-5:00pm, Eastern County
June Courses:
  • June 3rd- Church Shelter Team Training 9:00am-5:00pm, Eastern County
  • June 10th- Church Shelter Team Training 9:00am-5:00pm, Eastern County
  • June 17th- Church Shelter Team Training 9:00am-5:00pm, Eastern County
  • June 24th- Psychological 1st Aid 10:00am-2:00pm, Chattanooga Office
  • June 25th – Meigs County Shelter Team/Nuclear Drill
  • June 25th and June 26th – Sequatchie County Shelter Team/Nuclear Drill
Not sure what each class is, below is a brief description of each course to aid you in finding and selecting the right courses to further your volunteer experience:
  • Disaster Frontline Supervisor prepares students to meet the training requirements for a supervisor position in the Disaster Services with the Red Cross. The purpose of this course is to prepare supervisors to lead a team of disaster workers to deliver high quality client service and to create a climate that promotes worker satisfaction. Prerequisite: Disaster Services Overview
  • Disaster Services: An Overview is required for all volunteers and provides the foundation of service delivery standards for the American Red Cross by considering the Fundamental Principles and Values of the Red Cross and how they apply throughout the disaster cycle.
  • Psychological First Aid prepares American Red Cross workers to provide basic care, comfort and support to people who are experiencing disaster-related stress. Prerequisite: Disaster Services Overview
  • Shelter Management prepares students to manage shelters using a case study that takes them through the phases of sheltering. Prerequisites: Disaster Services Overview, Shelter Fundamentals, Frontline Supervisor & Simulation, Basic Food Safety
  • Shelter Exercise builds on the information presented in the Shelter Fundamentals course and provides participants an opportunity to practice working with procedures for setting up, running and closing a shelter during a disaster. Prerequisite: Shelter Fundamentals
Interested in attending any of these FREE training courses, contact Emily Fish (emily.fish@redcross.org) or 423-265-3455.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nashville Introduces New Canine Mascot

Say a nice, friendly “woof” to Nashville’s newest canine mascot, Bubbles!

Proud owners, Bob and Susan Stafford, adopted the bulldog mix back in March 2011. The two started getting involved in their local Red Cross not long after. Currently, Bob serves on the DAT Team here in Nashville and is the captain in Wilson County. I got the opportunity to have a one-on-one with Bubbles, now three, and get the 411 on our newest, cuddliest recruit!

Red Cross: Congratulations, you’re the new Red Cross Representative Dog! What are you most looking forward to?
Bubbles: I’m looking forward to meeting all the new people and proudly wearing my schnazzy vest at events to promote the Red Cross.

RC: What is it about the Nashville community that you like the best?
B: I like how pet-friendly the area is. My parents and I participate in every dog walk around town, and there’s one nearly every week!

RC: Do you have any ideas for future events?
B: I’m up for anything! I’d like to come visit you all at the office. Maybe we could schedule a field trip? I like to get out there and help make the Red Cross more visible to the public.

RC: Ok, time for a fun one. What’s something you want future participants in Red Cross events to know about you?
B: I’m super friendly and would love to meet you!

Pet care and pet safety has always been an important facet at the Red Cross. It’s essential to be informed about the proper first aid and care for your favorite furry friend. To learn more, download the app at http://redcross.org/mobile-apps or check out a local pet first aid class.

By: Kate Krug

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two Rivers Chapter to Host Dickson County Lifesaver Breakfast


DICKSON, TENN., March 26, 2014 — The Two Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross will be hosting the Dickson County Lifesaver Breakfast on Thursday, April 24th beginning at 7:00 a.m. at Horizon Medical Center located at 111 Highway 70 E, Dickson, Tennessee. The theme for the event is “Storytellers: Real People, Real Stories.”

“We are really looking forward to this year’s inaugural Lifesaver Breakfast and we are so appreciative of our generous supporters in Dickson County,” said Chapter Executive, Julie Campos.  “Additionally, we would like to thank this year’s event chair, Mary Littleton, for helping us as we strive to raise vital funds for the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross.”

Since the beginning of July, the Two Rivers Chapter has responded to nine disasters, assisted 22 people and spent $9,470.53 in Dickson County.

The Two Rivers Chapter would like to thank current sponsor, Dickson County Farm Bureau Insurance Company, and Horizon Medical Center for hosting the event.

Corporate sponsorships from $1,000 - $5,000 are still available.  To purchase a sponsorship or to get more information about the Lifesaver Breakfast, please call (931) 654-6401.

The Two Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross proudly serves residents in Montgomery, Stewart, Houston, Dickson, Benton, Humphreys and Henry Counties, in Tennessee as well as Ft. Campbell and Land Between the Lakes, KY. 

 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two Rivers Chapter Responds with Canteen at Burger King Fire


Red Cross was requested at a fire at the local Burger King on Thursday evening.  Disaster Action Team Captains Connie Branchau, Don Bledsoe and Leo Jordan responded at 5:06 p.m. All employees and customers made it out safely.

The Red Cross emergency response vehicle handed out two and a half cases of water and 200 snacks to firefighters of Clarksville companies 1, 8 and 9. Shoney’s donated 4 gallons of coffee, Firehouse Subs donated 30 sub sandwiches for dinner and Walmart donated 3 sleeves of coffee cups to assist with the Red Cross canteen effort.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dine Out for Disaster Relief on Thursday, March 27th in Southeast Tennessee

Dine Out for Disaster Relief on Thursday, March 27th. Dine in, Carry out or place a catering order, mention REDCROSS and portion of your meal at any of these 20 restaurants will be donated to the American Red Cross. It's that easy & remember, on March 27th RED CROSS CALORIES DON'T  COUNT!!            
 
Chattanooga Restaurants:
Honeybaked Hams - 2020 Gunbarrell Road Suite 303
Buffalo Wild Wings - 123 Market Street- Downtown
Jason's Deli - 2015 Gunbarrell Road Suite 14
O'Charleys - 2340 Shallowford Village Drive

Hixson Restaurants:
Buffalo Wild Wings - 5744 Hixson Pike
O'Charleys - 5031 Hixson Pike

Cleveland Restaurants:
Buffalo Wild Wings - 625 Paul Huff Pkwy
Cheezies Pizza - 2153 N. Ocoee Street
CiCi's Pizza - 355 Paul Huff Parkway
Cobblestone Grille - 170 North Ocoee Street
FIG- Southern - Bistro 4380 Old Tasso Road
Fulins Asian Cuisine - 4478 Frontage Road NW
Las Margaritas Mexican - 2507 North Ocoee Street
O'Charleys - 148 Paul Huff Parkway
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - 525 Inman St West
Perkits Yogurt - 3306 Keith Street
Santa Fe Cattle Co. - 200 Paul Huff Pkwy
Gondolier Restaurant - 3300 Keith Street NW
The Spot - 45 North Ocoee Street
The Village Bake Shop - 301 Keith Street
Zaxby's - 1430 25th Street
Zaxby's - 2481 Treasury Drive

"Red Cross Is My Angel" - Inspiring Words of a Jaycee Towers Resident in Chattanooga


Meet Lamis, or Lili as she is known around the Jaycee Towers in Chattanooga. Lili who is living in the Volunteer State on special VISA from Turkey doing work in the area as an Interpretor. Lili considers herself a resilient person, but feels anyone forced from their home at any hour of the day for an undetermined amount of time can be frustrating and emotionally overwhelming. 

Lili is one of 150 members of the Jaycee Towers that was forced to evacuate and leave their home on St. Patrick’s Day after a fire impacted the entire 18-story buildings power grid. It took 9 hours to evacuate all of the residents, most of which are senior citizens with functional needs. Some residents were able to seek refuge with family or friends, while more than 80 remained without a place to go. 

Thanks to the support of local donors, community partners and volunteers, the American Red Cross was able to be there for each resident. Quickly opening the South Chattanooga Recreation Center as a shelter, working with community partners like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, McKamey Animal Services and Chattanooga Area Food Bank, we collectively were able to meet their emergency needs of shelter, food, medical care, emotional support, transportation and more.

"God bless the first class support, day and night, that the American Red Cross provided us at the shelter,” said Lili.  “It's not hard to say where we would have gone, but the Red Cross was there and helped meet all of our needs.” Lili quickly became a favorite of the volunteers working at the South Chattanooga Rec Center and utters the words "THANK YOU" followed by an embracing hug for anyone she passes. Lili says it best “the Red Cross means to me, the precious word of help, in all that the word means: Mercy, Kindness, Love and Rescue!"      
 
 
 
After 51 hours, the community crisis ended and all of the residents of Jaycee Towers were able to go home. Most left thankful for what the Red Cross and partner agencies did to help each. But, Lili couldn’t leave without personally thanking each volunteer with a hug because in her words “the Red Cross is her angel.”

The American Red Cross provides all disaster services at no cost and relies on the community for public support to aid residents like Lili and the residents of Jaycee Towers, amongst other disasters locally and nationwide. You can help support the relief efforts of the Red Cross by calling, click or texting your financial support. You can call (423) 265-3455 to donate by phone, click on www.redcross.org/SETN to donate online or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 through your wireless provider. 

DAT+GRAM - Nashville Area Chapter - 3/19/14

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two Rivers Chapter to Host 3rd Annual Escoffier


5 Course French Cuisine Dinner to Benefit Local American Red Cross


 
The Two Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross will be hosting the 3rd Annual Escoffier Dinner – The Art of French Cuisine, on Saturday, April 12th beginning at 6:00 p.m. at The Looking Glass Restaurant located at 329 Warfield Blvd Suite H, Clarksville, Tennessee.

Tickets are available for $100 per person and all proceeds will support the American Red Cross whether it's responding to a disaster, teaching skills that can save a life, or assisting our military members and their families.  Seating is limited.  For more information, please call (931)645-6401.

The dinner will feature five courses with famous dishes that were created by Auguste Escoffier, who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods that established modern French cuisine. Appetizers (hors d'oeuvres), soup, salad and entrĂ©es will be presented to guests. One of Escoffier’s most famous dishes, Peach Melba, will be offered as dessert.

 “We are really looking forward to this year’s Escoffier Dinner and we are so appreciative of everyone who joined us at last year’s event,” said Chapter Executive, Julie Campos.  “We anticipate another lovely evening of delicious food and beverages, to help raise vital funds for the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross.”

 Event planning committee members this year include:  Bruce Anderson, Beth Tanner, Trian Desoto, DeeAnn Colburn, Joan DeWald, Dr. Mack Eddington, Linda Eddington and Chef Paul Campuzano.

 The Two Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross proudly serves residents in Montgomery, Stewart, Houston, Dickson, Benton, Humphreys and Henry Counties, in Tennessee as well as Ft. Campbell and Land Between the Lakes, KY.

Monday, March 17, 2014

American Red Cross New Flood App Can Save Lives

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. The American Red Cross developed its new Flood App to help save lives and reduce losses from floods and flash floods.

This free app gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a flood. The content is available in English and Spanish based on the user’s language settings on their mobile device.

 The app includes location-based, audible NOAA flood and flash flood watches and warnings – even if the app is closed. Other features include:

·         One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way;

·         Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;

·         Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are;

·         Locations of open Red Cross shelters;

·         Real-time recovery resources for returning home and cleaning up; and

·         Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
 

The app is the latest in the series of Red Cross emergency preparedness apps that put lifesaving information right in the hands of people whenever and wherever they need it. The expert advice in Red Cross apps, which also include apps for First Aid, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and other services, has been used to help save lives during disasters and medical emergencies. Red Cross apps have been downloaded on nearly 4 million mobile devices.

The Flood App, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Red Cross Celebrates Successful Lifesaver Breakfast

 Record Setting Fundraising Event Honors Niki Taylor

 
The Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is pleased to announce that a record setting dollar amount of $475,000 and counting, was raised at this year’s Lifesaver Breakfast, through the leadership of event co-chairs, Jan and Harry Jacobson, to support their vital mission as they help the community prepare, respond to and recover from disasters.

“We were truly honored that over 600 of our generous friends and supporters throughout the community joined us at our 12th Annual Lifesaver Breakfast,” said Regional CEO, Joel Sullivan.   “This year, we celebrated our ‘Everyday Heroes’ who help their neighbors in need and make our mission possible each day.”

 Governor Tom Ridge served as this year’s keynote speaker for the Lifesaver Breakfast, which was held at Lipscomb University in Allen Arena.  Tom Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global.  He is a Vietnam combat veteran, and served as Congressman and Governor of Pennsylvania.  Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Ridge became the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  Often noted for his instrumental role within Homeland Security, Ridge leads a team of international experts that help businesses and governments address a range of needs throughout their organizations, including security and infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness and response, energy, strategic growth, maritime management and other issues that encompass a diverse portfolio. 

The Nashville Area Chapter was also thrilled to honor local Brentwood resident, supermodel, Niki Taylor, with the Crystal Cross Award.  The Crystal Cross award honors celebrities who have shown exemplary support of and service to the Red Cross mission.  Niki was critically injured in a 2001 car accident. She needed more than 100 transfusions during her treatment, and it took more than 300 blood donors to provide the blood and blood products she needed to survive. A car accident nearly took her life, but Niki took it back. Her experience turned her into a longtime supporter of the Red Cross and she is a member of the organization’s National Celebrity Cabinet. Niki is committed to raising awareness about the ongoing need for blood donation. She hopes that sharing her personal story will inspire others around the country to roll up a sleeve and donate blood or platelets.

Each year, the Lifesaver Breakfast hosts Nashville’s most influential business and community leaders, sharing the mission of the American Red Cross and raising the financial funding resources necessary to provide their core humanitarian services.  For those that were unable to attend the Lifesaver Breakfast, but would still like to support the Red Cross, they may make a donation online at www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. 

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit
redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lifesaver Breakfast 2014: Volunteer Perspective

I’m sure that I am one of hundreds of Nashvillians who is looking forward to attending the Red Cross’ 12th Annual Lifesaver Breakfast on Tuesday to hear the keynote address by Governor Tom Ridge, whose life’s work has, in many respects, certainly run parallel to the work and mission of the American Red Cross.

As a volunteer with the Nashville Area Red Cross, and a native of Pennsylvania, I’m fairly familiar with Governor Ridge’s background.  From his decorated service in Vietnam, to his time as an Assistant District Attorney, a United States Congressman, Governor of Pennsylvania, and the first ever Secretary of Homeland Security, he has long been known as a highly capable leader of tremendous integrity.

The Red Cross, as an independent nonprofit, has always worked closely with institutions in government and the private sector.  With experience in both of these fields, Governor Ridge will be able to share his unique perspective on the value of the Red Cross’ work, and the need to support our organization through volunteering, contribution and community partnerships.

The American Red Cross has always been there to help in times of need; to offer training on lifesaving techniques; to collect lifesaving blood; to serve the troops and their families; and to provide aid and comfort to people in times of disaster.  And on Tuesday, the people of Music City and the Volunteer State look forward to welcoming and hearing a message from our long-time partner, Governor Tom Ridge, as we celebrate our Everyday Heroes for March is Red Cross Month at the Lifesaver Breakfast.
 
~ Brian Toll is a Red Cross Disaster Volunteer and an International Humanitarian Law Instructor

(If you would still like to register to attend the annual Lifesaver Breakfast, please call or email Mandy Peebles at 615.290.6804 or mandy.peebles@redcross.org. )

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Looking Forward to Our Annual Lifesaver Breakfast – Honoring a Special Guest, Niki Taylor

Tuesday, March 11th  │ Breakfast Begins at 7:30 a.m. │  Lipscomb University – Allen Arena  


Our Annual Lifesaver Breakfast, held during March is Red Cross Month, will host more than 500 of Nashville’s most influential business and community leaders, sharing the mission of the American Red Cross and raising the financial funding resources necessary to provide their core humanitarian services.

The Lifesaver Breakfast event, which is being chaired by Dr. and Mrs. Harry Jacobson, will feature the Honorable Tom Ridge as the keynote speaker.  Tom Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global.  He is a Vietnam combat veteran, and served as Congressman and Governor of Pennsylvania.  Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Ridge became the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The Nashville Area Chapter is also thrilled to announce that we will be honoring local Brentwood resident, supermodel, Niki Taylor, with the Crystal Cross award at the Lifesaver Breakfast.  The Crystal Cross award honors celebrities who have shown exemplary support of and service to the Red Cross mission.  Niki was critically injured in a 2001 car accident. She needed more than 100 transfusions during her treatment, and it took more than 300 blood donors to provide the blood and blood products she needed to survive. A car accident nearly took her life, but Niki took it back. Her experience turned her into a longtime supporter of the Red Cross and she is a member of the organization’s National Celebrity Cabinet. Niki is committed to raising awareness about the ongoing need for blood donation. She hopes that sharing her personal story will inspire others around the country to roll up a sleeve and donate blood or platelets.

To reserve a seat and to get more information, please visit redcross.org/LifesaverBreakfast2014

Get to Know Our New Intern: Kate Krug

As a new face, I’ve been invited to introduce myself to all you lovely people and explain what I’ll be doing for this fine organization. I’ll keep the “me-talk” to a minimum. I’m 23 and a 2011 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I have a degree in magazines (yes, that’s a thing) and a concentration in art. After being on a health sabbatical for the past year, I am very excited to be back doing what I love the most. I recently joined the team at Nashville Area Red Cross as the Communications Intern. So, hello! I’m excited to get to know everyone.

I’ll be doing a hodgepodge of things in the communications sector with a focus on social media and blogging. Keeping everyone connected and in-the-know is the goal. Hopefully this won’t be the first time you see my name on here.

It’s been amazing for me, a native Midwesterner, to experience this winter from a Southern perspective. The work that the Red Cross and other organizations have been doing during these unprecedented cold and wintery months has been incredible. As someone who has past benefited from the Red Cross, I can say that every single thing that you do matters and is greatly appreciated.

Hope to see some of you around. Keep warm!

-Kate Krug

Monday, March 3, 2014

Red Cross Responds to Tennessee Ice Storms

Offers Vital Power Outage Safety Tips for Communities that May Still be Affected
 

DICKSON, MONDAY, March 3, 2014 — The American Red Cross will open an emergency shelter at 4:00 p.m. to offer safe refuge for local residents who were affected by the ice storm and are expected to face long-term power outages.  The shelter is located at:
Walnut Street Church of Christ
201 Center Avenue
Dickson, TN 37055

 “We are working in coordination with the Dickson County EMA due to the expected extended power outages that are affecting hundreds of residents.  As always, we strongly urge you to continue to shelter in place until the electricity is restored, but for those that are in need of a safe place to go, they may come to the Walnut Street Church of Christ Shelter for relief,”  said Julie Campos, Two Rivers Chapter Executive. 

The Red Cross encourages those who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter to bring the following items for each member of their family:
 

·        Prescription and emergency medication

·        Extra clothing

·        Specialty snacks and juices for those with dietary restrictions

·        Baby food, formula and diapers for infants and toddlers

·        Identification

·        Other comfort items

 

POWER OUTAGE SAFETY TIPS If you are one of the hundreds of people that remain without power, the Red Cross has steps you should follow until your electricity is restored:

·        Do not use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

·        Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.

·        Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

·        Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

·        If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

·        Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.

·        Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.

·        Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.

·        Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.

·        Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use perishable food from the fridge first, then use food from the freezer. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours if the door remains closed.

·        If it looks like the power will be out for more than a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items. Keep your food in a dry, cool spot and covered at all times. 

President Obama Proclaims March As Red Cross Month

 
President Barack Obama has proclaimed March as Red Cross Month across the United States, a tradition begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943.

“During American Red Cross Month, we honor those who devote themselves to bringing relief where there is suffering, inspiring hope where there is despair, and healing the wounds of disaster and war,” the proclamation reads. “Today, American Red Cross workers, alongside countless humanitarian organizations and caring volunteers, deliver life-saving assistance in every corner of our Nation and all across the globe.”

The Red Cross has a long-standing relationship with the White House dating back to 1913 and President Woodrow Wilson. In 1906 a largely ceremonial office of president was added to the Red Cross leadership. In 1913, President Wilson agreed to serve in this role. This began a tradition that continues today whereby the president of the United States serves as honorary chairman of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is not a government agency and does not receive a regular appropriation from Congress.

The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters big and small in this country every year. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills.

During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross is recognizing the country’s everyday heroes – heroes who reach out to help people in need. These are the people who -

  • Help disaster victims get on the road to recovery.
  • Give blood to help a hospital patient
  • Brighten the day of an injured service member who is in a hospital far from home.
  • Take one of our lifesaving classes and step forward to assist someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child.

    Red Cross Month is a great time to become part of the Red Cross. And it’s easy to do. You can gather members of your household and work on a preparedness plan so you are ready for emergencies. You can become a Red Cross volunteer. Or you can give blood or a financial donation.

    During Red Cross Month, become a part of the Red Cross. More information is available on how you can help through your local Red Cross chapter or by visiting the “Ways to Help” on redcross.org.
  • Winter Weather Safety Tips

    Winter weather in Middle Tennessee has closed schools and has made the workday commute dangerous. The best thing to do during a winter storm is stay off the roads if possible. If you must travel on the roads today, the American Red Cross urges you to use caution and follow these safety tips.  We have also included important information about how to deal with power outages and generator safety tips.  

    WINTER DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
    • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with a window scraper, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. Pack high-protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents or information you may need.

    • Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
    • Find out what disasters may occur where you are traveling and pay attention to the weather forecast. Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
    • Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
    • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
    • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
    • Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.
    • Don’t run your engine and heater constantly to help avoid running out of gas. Don’t use things like lights or the radio without the engine running so the battery doesn’t conk out.
    • If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it – don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.

    POWER OUTAGE SAFETY TIPS If you are without power, the Red Cross has steps you should follow until your electricity is restored:
     Do not use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

     Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.

     Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

     Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

     If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

     Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.

     Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.

     Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.

      Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.

    • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use perishable food from the fridge first, then use food from the freezer. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours if the door remains closed.

      If it looks like the power will be out for more than a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items. Keep your food in a dry, cool spot and covered at all times.


    How to Use a Generator at Home
    The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use.

    Never Use a Portable Generator Indoors

    This includes inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death, but CO can't be seen or smelled. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY - DO NOT DELAY.
    Because you may have windows open to get fresh air while the power is out, be sure to place the generator away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors. To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect the generator from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.

    It is a good idea to install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer's installation instructions. If CO gas from the generator enters your home and poses a health risk, the alarm will sound to warn you. Test the battery frequently and replace when needed.
    Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

    Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator. Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store, or the storage location. Ask your local fire department for additional information about local regulations. Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. Do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and can be ignited by the appliance's pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance.
    Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.

    Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household protection devices.