Monthly Archives: April 2010

THE ATLANTA RED CROSS SENDS HOPE, HELP AND COMFORT TO PARTS OF STORM-RAVAGED SOUTHEAST

On April 24, the southeastern U.S. was ravaged by a mid-spring tornado outbreak, which killed 12 people and injured dozens more. The state of Mississippi was hit hardest, as 5 people died and a rare E F-4 tornado, with wind speeds of between 207 – 260 mph., slammed into town, pulverizing cars, dismantling buildings and shattering lives.

In response to the disaster, the Atlanta Red Cross is deploying several volunteers, part of a larger group of national Red Cross volunteers, who will provide disaster relief in storm affected areas. Volunteers like Gonzalo Yahuitl (above), who will provide food, beverages, physical and mental health care, family services and client casework support at several shelters throughout the region. Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) will also canvass neighborhoods providing assistance to storm- weary survivors.

Yahuitl is just one of the many volunteers who will work to provide hope, help and comfort to those who are depending on the Red Cross.

 How Georgians Can Help 

Help people affected by disasters like tornadoes by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those affected by all disasters. Please make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your  local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

 

American Red Cross President/CEO Answers FAQs About Donations Earmarked for Haiti

April 27, 2010 — This is part three in a series of interviews where our President and CEO Gail McGovern will answer the  most frequently asked questions about our response and recovery efforts for survivors in Haiti.

For part 3, we’ve asked her if the American Red Cross plans on spending all the designated donations we received in Haiti? This conversation includes an explanation of our overhead costs.

ATLANTA RED CROSS URGES READINESS FOR SECOND HALF OF SPRING SEVERE WEATHER SEASON

 

 

ATLANTA, GA (April 26, 2010) – Georgia’s severe weather season started slowly, as we enjoyed sunny and relatively tranquil weather for the first few weeks of spring. On April 24, however, spring turned ugly, as southern states were pummeled by tornadoes that killed 10 people in Mississippi and two others in Alabama (http://bit.ly/93Az5W). Strong tornadoes were also reported in Louisiana and Arkansas, while northwest Georgia was struck by a weaker E-F 1 storm.

Although tornadoes can occur during any time of the year in Georgia, the months of March – May are most active, with a major peak in mid- April and another weaker peak around November

The Atlanta Red Cross urges everyone to review their severe weather plans to make sure that they are prepared for severe weather threats.

Prepare a Home Tornado Plan

  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)

Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
    • A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish

You can find more tips on preparing your family for severe weather by visiting the Preparedness section of RedCross.org

What Do Baseball and Severe Weather Have in Common?

Storm with Mammatus Clouds - Las Vegas 51s Baseball Game by Crumblin Down

What do baseball and severe weather have in common? Okay, I know what you’re thinking, but the commonality is not that they both occur in spring. But bear with me and I’ll clarify.

I happen to coach my son’s baseball team and part of my job is to chide the players and to keep them focused during games. What I’ve noticed over the years is that when our team is ahead, our fielders seem to get complacent, especially the guys in the outfield. They figure, after all, that they’ve got a comfortable lead and that the opponent would find it difficult, if not impossible, to catch up. And so, the guys begin to relax. They look off into the stands, look up into the air and look at each other. And then it happens…

The bottom of the opposing team’s line-up begins to bat and the smallest, most unlikely player on the team whacks a line drive into a gap in the outfield. This timely hit then starts a rally by the opposing team and our guys, who were so confidently ahead,  end up losing the game by the slimmest of margins

Severe weather can be a lot like the aforementioned baseball game. Up to this point we’ve had a quiet spring– no real severe weather threats to speak of. And just like those outfielders, we might be tempted to let our guard down—  to follow our normal weekend routines and to shelve our severe weather plans.

This weekend, many experts predict that severe weather could indeed impact  parts of the southeast. The state of Georgia is in a slight risk area for strong winds, hail and, yes, isolated tornadoes. Now is the time for you and your loved ones to review your severe weather plan to make sure that you are prepared for severe weather threats.

Prepare a Home Tornado Plan

  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)

Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
    • A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish

You can find more tips on preparing your family for severe weather by visiting the Preparedness section of RedCross.org

Part 2: American Red Cross President/CEO Answers FAQs About Pace of Red Cross Expenditures in Haiti

AmRedCross — April 20, 2010 — This is part two in a series of interviews where our President and CEO Gail McGovern will answer some of  the  most frequently asked questions about our response and recovery efforts for survivors in Haiti.

In part 2, we asked her why the American Red Cross isn’t spending all the money you’ve donated at once.