National Preparedness Month

 

September is National Preparedness Month, and there is no better time to fine-tune your emergency preparedness plan than now.  There are a few simple steps to take in order to be better prepared for disaster.

The first step is to get an emergency preparedness kit.  This kit should have a 3 day supply of food and water for every member of the family (don’t forget pets!), flashlights, a radio, blanket, first-aid kit, etc.  Full preparedness kits and a list of other suggested items can be found on the Red Cross website at http://www.redcrossstore.org/category/id/1.

Next, make a plan.  Plan a route to safety and make sure everyone in the household knows it.  Once you have a plan, make a second plan.  Often times, routes are blocked during disasters.  Commit these routes to memory in case mobile data service is not accessible in the area.

Finally, be informed.  Listen to local weather reports and emergency warnings.  The Red Cross has a great bunch of mobile apps that are free and do not require data service.  They can be found here:  http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.  The newest app is called Emergency App which.  It is the most customizable and informative of the bunch.  It is an ‘all-inclusive’ app that feeds users real-time information.

More information can be found in the Red Cross Disaster Safety Library at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster-safety-library.  During the month of September, take the time to get prepared for disaster.  Do this in September so you don’t have to spend the rest of the year worrying if you are adequately prepared or not.

The Red Cross also firmly believes a wingless chicken should NOT be a part of any kind of disaster kit.  

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Grilling Tips for Labor Day Weekend

Labor day weekend often brings with it backyard fun and food. Many people will be breaking out their burgers and bratwursts and firing up the barbecue this summer. If they aren’t careful, however, that outdoor grill could cause major damage or worse.

Two Nevada homes caught fire earlier this summer when sparks from an outdoor barbecue ignited a nearby fence. No one was hurt in the fire, but it destroyed both homes. The American Red Cross assisted the residents of those homes.

This incident serves as a reminder that a few barbecue safety precautions can prevent your party from turning deadly.

The American Red Cross offers several tips when using charcoal or gas grills:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

The National Fire Protection Association also provides grilling safety tips and helpful videos to prevent barbecue-related incidents:

 

Propane Grills

 Before using your grill:

 Check the major connection points between the gas tank hose and the regulator and cylinder and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.

  • Check the gas tank hose for potential gas leaks.
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose.
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

 

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

 

Charcoal Grills

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure your backyard barbecues produce food and fun and not a visit from the local fire department.

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10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, will mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The storm destroyed much of the Gulf Coast including Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

In remembrance of those who lost lives and recognition of the resiliency of those who survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the Red Cross Nevada Region will join other Red Cross regions across the country in creating the World’s Largest Pillowcase Project on Saturday, Aug. 29.  Instructors in southern Nevada will be presenting the Pillowcase Project at Nellis Air Force Base.

The Pillowcase Project evolved from discussions started by the Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter in 2005, after responders learned of students packing items in their pillowcases as they evacuated ahead of Hurricane Katrina.

m23641625_763x260_Pillowcase

Disaster education presentations to elementary students in New Orleans eventually evolved into a national program that now teaches tens of thousands of children all over the country how to prepare for emergencies and how respond to weather-related disasters.

Participants in grades 3-5 receive a specially designed pillowcase, which they personalize during training. They are encouraged to engage their family to create an emergency preparedness kit at home.

Find out how you can become a Pillowcase Project Presenter and help teach these skills to young students here in southern Nevada by visiting http://www.redcross.org/local/nv/las-vegas/volunteer.

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Back to School Safety Tips

Red Cross Volunteer, Elaine C, has some tips for students starting or returning to school this August!  Here they are:

Summer vacation is ending.  Soon the schools will be full and the malls will be empty.  Students may not have retained everything they learned the previous school year but hopefully they remember “How to Stay Safe.”  Here is a refresher on those skills.

As the new school year begins, make sure students know their home phone number, address, contact information for parents or guardians, and an emergency contact such as a close friend or relative.  It’s always best to have these numbers written down somewhere it won’t get lost. 

When walking a child to school, cross the street only at intersections and use a route with school crossing guards. Remind kids that walk to school to follow the same instructions and to walk with friends. Know the route your child takes to school and who they are walking with.

The beauty of the weather in Southern Nevada is that kids can ride their bikes to school for most of the year.  Since this is also a more dangerous mode of transportation than walking there are a few extra safety steps to take.  Riders should always wear a helmet and, if possible, wear reflective colors to be more visible to street traffic. Also install reflective gear on the bicycle; along with it being a safety measure, it also help a bike look more impressive.

Whether walking or biking, obey all traffic signs & be extra vigilant at intersections.

Children that ride the bus to school should plan on getting to the bus stop early and standing away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Visit the bus stop before school starts to show the student where to stand while waiting.  Wait at the bus stop with very young children and make safety a habit as they grow up. 

No matter how safe we try to be sometimes mistakes are made. Take a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course (redcross.org/take-a-class) so you’ll have the knowledge and skills to act if an injury or emergency happens. You can also download the Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll always have first aid information at your fingertips. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.

http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/first-aid-app

 

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Locations to Give Blood for Aug – Sept

The American Red Cross and Sport Clips Haircuts are teaming up to offer a free haircut coupon to those who come out to donate blood or platelets during September.

“We are pleased to partner with Sport Clips Haircuts in September nationwide, and through their generosity, offer a coupon for a free haircut to thank our amazing volunteer blood donors for their lifesaving gift to help patients in need,” said Donna M. Morrissey, director of national partnerships, Red Cross Biomedical Services.

Those who present to give blood or platelets Sept. 1-30 will receive a coupon for a free haircut via email a few days after their donation. The coupon is valid through Nov. 8, 2015, and donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.

“A sufficient blood supply is a community-wide responsibility, and Sport Clips is proud to continue our partnership with the Red Cross to raise awareness of the need for blood and platelet donations,” said Margaret Briscoe, corporate communications manager for Sport Clips. “This is Sport Clips’ way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who support the Red Cross’ important mission.”

Donors of all blood types – especially types O negative, A negative and B negative – and platelet donors are urged to give. To make an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org/sport-clips or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

(http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/blood-app)

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Henderson

8/23/2015: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Congregation Ner Tamid, 55 N Valle Verde Dr

9/10/2015: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., MetLife, 1401 N Green Valley Parkway  #250

 

Las Vegas

 

8/20/2015: 7 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Danville Services, 9139 W. Russell, Suite # 110

8/22/2015: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Smiths Bonanzo Pecos, 3602 East Bonanza

8/25/2015: 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., University of Las Vegas – Be the Match, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway

8/28/2015: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Le Cordon Bleu, 1451 Center Crossing Road

8/29/2015: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., The Venue Apartment, 5035 East Russell Road

8/31/2015: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Centennial Hills Library, 6711 N Buffalo Dr.

9/1/2015: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Nevada Career Institute, 3231 N. Decatur Blvd, Ste 119

9/1/2015: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Nevada Career Institute, 3231 N. Decatur Blvd, Ste 119

9/2/2015: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Kaplan College, 3535 W. Sahara Ave

9/2/2015: 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m., Trump International Hotel, 2000 Fashion Show Drive

9/4/2015: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Summerlin Hospital, 657 Town Center Drive

9/5/2015: 2:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m., Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Rd.

9/11/2015: 4 p.m. – 8:15 p.m., Islamic Society of Nevada, 4730 E. Desert Inn Rd

9/12/2015: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center, 5400 S Rainbow Blvd

9/14/2015: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Keller Williams, 6180 Brent Thurman Way, 100

9/15/2015: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Zurich North America, 1160 North Town Center Drive, Suite 130

9/18/2015: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., School of Massage Therapy, 2381 E. Windmill Lane

 

Mesquite

8/25/2015: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Primex Plastics, 752 Turtleback Road

 

North Las Vegas

8/20/2015: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Battle of the Badges – North Las Vegas – Fire Department Admin Building on Losee, 4040 Losee Road

8/26/2015: 8:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Battle of the Badges – North Las Vegas, 2250 Las Vegas Blvd. North – Suite Open Space

8/29/2015: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Pearson Center, 1625 West Carey

9/19/2015: 12:45 p.m. – 5 p.m., Pal’sPlace Care, 1755  W. Alexander

 

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

 

 

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Learn How to Save a Life with Red Cross Training

No one knows when disasters strike.  Mar Kia, a Red Cross volunteer, shares of story of what happened when a coworker was in need of help:

 

When tragedy strikes there is always a hero, always someone who snaps into action to try and save the day. Whether they are fully successful or only just a little helpful there is always one who jumps in to lend a hand or save a life. Have you ever wondered what it is like to be called into action?

At work, behind the ringing of various phones, chatter of my coworkers, and the lengthy story a customer I was speaking to was telling me, I heard a cry of panic and fear. A supervisor was running, people were standing, and someone was shouting “Does anyone know CPR? Please, does anyone know CPR?” A woman had collapsed and was no longer breathing on her own. I froze. What could I do? I’m not a hero! I don’t remember the one CPR class I had in high school… I can’t help her.

My coworker calmly stood up and said “I know CPR how can I help.” They walked her over to the growing crowd around the unconscious woman. As if this happened every day my coworker calming began to administer CPR until the paramedics arrived. Turns out my coworker saved that woman’s life while I just stood frozen with fear and uncertainty.

(All photos unrelated, only for visual effect)

It was that day I decided that I needed to remember CPR and learn first aid, not just because I didn’t like feeling of uncertainty, but because someone could rely on me to help them and I wanted to be ready when I was called into action. I turned to the Red Cross.The Red Cross provides various levels of CPR and First Aid training. Whether you want to provide your whole office with a refresher course, or you are starting work as a care giver or life guard; the Red Cross can provide you with the training you need tobe ready in the event of an emergency. I struggled to find time in my busy schedule to take a CPR class, but the Red Cross has online resources to help even the busiest person get the education they need to protect themselves as well as their friends, families, coworkers, or even strangers when they are in need.

The Red Cross has 5 different training courses that will match most CPR and Frist Aid training needs. You can take complete courses online, hybrid courses in the classroom and online, or simply go into your local chapter for in-class courses with practical application learning. The instructors know the importance of being prepared and feeling confident in your ability to help those in needs. They will work with you every step of the way to teach you the skills and necessary knowledge for your call to action.

You will even bond with your classmates, just in case you need a reminder that there are others learning with you, to be that helping hand when in needed. Will you be ready when you are called to action?

Classes are offered throughout the Las Vegas area so visit http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class and find a class near you!

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Red Cross Set Up Shelters in City of Henderson

Late last week, a round of thunderstorms swept through the Henderson area.  On Thursday evening (August 13), these storms knocked over power lines which left many residents without power.  The Red Cross and City of Henderson were notified that these power outages may last for an extended period of time.

Due to the amount of people that would be without power, the Red Cross and City of Henderson decided to open a relief shelter.  Around 20-25 people stayed overnight at the shelter.   Residents were provided with water, snacks, cots to sleep on, and air-conditioning.

The following day, the National Weather Service (@NWSVegas) warned the public about a heat wave making its way through the area and temperatures were expected to reach 110°.  Residents without power were invited to come cool off at the shelter and get relief from the heat.

A second shelter was opened at a location in downtown Henderson.  NV Energy supplied both shelters with pallets of water.

 

 

 

 

In addition to providing assistance at the shelters, Red Cross volunteers went into the hardest-hit areas of the community to hand out supplies to residents still without power.  These emergency response vehicles had cases of water and cleaning supplies like shovels, plastic bags, etc. for residents.

The Red Cross is continuing to provide services for residents affected by these storms.  Red Cross caseworkers will work with those affected on an individual basis and determine the best way to help.  This will be an ongoing effort.

 

PHOTO - Red Cross Volunteers with Henderson Resident

 

You can donate to the Red Cross disaster services and help the people displaced by these storms by calling (702) 369-3674 or visiting http://www.redcross.org/cm/southernfirehurts-pub.  Donations will also be used to help people affected by future disasters in our community.

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