Monthly Archives: July 2010

Update On Red Cross Response to Tropical Storm Bonnie

As Tropical Storm Bonnie scrapes the southern tip of Florida and sets her sights on the Gulf of Mexico, the Red Cross and its emergency partners are on the move, positioning people and emergency relief supplies for those who are impacted by the storm.

On June 22, Joe Becker, Red Cross Senior Vice President of Disaster Services, gave an update on how the organization was preparing for and watching the progress of  Tropical Depression #3, which has now developed into Tropical Storm Bonnie.

For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org.

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Red Cross Readies High-Tech Tools For Use During ’10 Hurricane Season

 

Bill Parks, Atlanta Red Cross volunteer and  Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV) operator, provided a tour  of an ECRV which was  being prepped for possible deployment following  the U.S. landfall of a storm which is now brewing in tropics.

The ECRV was designed and created for the American Red Cross by Disaster Services Technology paid and volunteer staff, to provide communications links between disaster relief operations and the National Red Cross’ Disaster Operation Center. They include an interoperability switch which allows the Red Cross to communicate with the variety of communication systems based in the nation-wide network of chapters.

The nine base vehicles for the original design, Ford Excursions, were donated by Ford Motor Company; subsystems and components were primarily acquired through funding via the Disaster Technology Integration Program (DSTIP). ECRVs are garaged in secure locations around the United States, and deployed when disasters require communication support. Operators are called on as needed to drive the vehicles to and from disaster locations and operate the systems until communications can be otherwise restored.

Red Cross Emergency Communication Response Vehicles Undergoing Preparedness Checks

 About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at 
http://blog.redcross.org.

The Red Cross Response in Haiti – 6 Months Later

It has been six months since a devastating 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti, affecting some three million people. The Red Cross, along with other humanitarian and governmental agencies, has been on the ground since day one, providing food, water, shelter and medical and emotional support.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth many, many more. See this video update on the Red Cross response in Haiti, six months later.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at 
http://blog.redcross.org.

The Red Cross’ Role in Response to the Gulf Oil Spill

A Ship Motors Through Portion of Gulf Oil Spill

The ongoing oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is causing widespread concern about the potential impact for the region’s economy, wildlife, homes and shore line. As a result, many states and communities are beginning to mobilize volunteer and government resources. The American Red Cross is working with federal, state and local government partners on ways in which we can support the needs of affected communities. Right now, the Red Cross is planning for that support role, should our government partners request help.The Red Cross is ramping up preparations for what is predicted to be a very active and dangerous hurricane season, especially along the Gulf Coast where the oil spill could cause people to evacuate for an even longer period. At the same time, we are actively responding to wildfires, tornadoes, floods and other disasters from Arizona to Montana to Arkansas. The Red Cross is accepting donations to its Disaster Relief Fund to support these efforts.   The Red Cross understands that certain communities may have unique needs or requests for help, and that will figure into our planning efforts as this situation continues to evolve.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at 
http://blog.redcross.org.

 

The Red Cross Urges Caution During Summer Lightning Storms

Lightning Over Midtown Atlanta

Summer is a time for picnics, backyard cookouts and family vacations. However, summer is also the time when severe lightning storms can wreak havoc and spoil the best of outdoor adventures.  

According to the National Weather Service, there have been 12 lightning deaths in the U.S. so far this spring and summer. In Georgia, 2 people have lost their lives due to lightning strikes.   

To minimize your chances of being harmed by lightning, the Red Cross recommends that you take the following precautions:  

  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts and emergency updates.

If a storm is approaching: 

  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
  • Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.  Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job!
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
If you are caught outside during a storm: 
  • Try to reach a safe building.
  • Avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.
  • Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe. If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!
  • Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.

When the storm is over:  

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.

If someone is struck by lightning: 

  • Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned or have other injuries. People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries.

Contact the Atlanta Red Cross if you are interested in taking a Red Cross first aid and CPR course.  For more information on how to keep you and your loved ones safe during emergencies, visit www.RedCross.org.  

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at 
http://blog.redcross.org.