Monthly Archives: August 2010

Hometown Giant UPS Lends Helping Hand to the American Red Cross

ATLANTA, (August 23, 2010) —  Last week, the American Red recognized the UPS Foundation for its support of Red Cross disaster response work through the Annual Disaster Giving Program.

Members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program pledge donations on an ongoing basis, in advance of major disasters, to help the Red Cross ensure an immediate response to meet the needs of those affected by disasters of all sizes, at no cost and regardless of income. 

“Thanks to the support of The UPS Foundation and other companies and foundations, the Red Cross has a reliable funding base for disaster relief services,” said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “This enables the Red Cross to respond immediately to the needs of individuals and families impacted by disaster anywhere in the United States, providing food, shelter, emotional support, and other essential assistance to disaster victims.”

“When disasters strike, The American Red Cross resources and logistics capabilities are essential to getting get supplies to those in need,” said The UPS Foundation President Ken Sternad. “Our partnership is part of UPS’s global humanitarian relief program, combining financial grants, in-kind services and logistics expertise to aid in preparedness, relief and recovery efforts around the world.”

“UPS is regarded as a potent force in Atlanta’s business community,” said Tim English, CEO of the Atlanta Red Cross. “Their liberal support of the Annual Disaster Giving program will help our organization to better prepare the nation for disasters and other emergencies.”

Other members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program include major leading companies such as Altria Group, American Express, AXA Foundation, Cisco Foundation, ConAgra Foods, Darden Restaurants, Inc., FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, General Motors Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Ryder Charitable Foundation, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., and UnitedHealthcare. 

People can join the Annual Disaster Giving Program members in supporting the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and help provide food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year. Visit RedCross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation.

Help people affected by disasters 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 victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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, D.C., 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

 

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.

About The UPS Foundation:

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain and freight services. Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. UPS promotes community involvement through its ongoing volunteerism and grant programs, environmental sustainability and corporate philanthropy. In 2009, UPS’s charitable contributions totaled nearly $100 million and UPS employees and their families contributed more than 1.2 million hours of volunteer service. The company can be found on the web at UPS.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

 

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SOMEONE IS COUNTING ON YOU RIGHT NOW

At the American Red Cross, we closely monitor national and local blood supplies to ensure we can provide blood where and when it is needed. 

There is a critical need for blood donors now. In fact, someone is counting on you at this very moment to give the gift of life.  All blood types are needed, but type O negative donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a shortage. 

Meeting this need is particularly challenging now since the extremely high temperatures are keeping donors inside, most schools are not in session to hold blood drives and we are experiencing a high number of donors who are unable to keep their appointments. 

Please give blood as soon as you can and encourage a friend or neighbor to give too. Make and keep your appointment to donate today. 

Please call 1-800-RED CROSS or click here to find a convenient blood donation location and to schedule a lifesaving blood donation appointment. 

The Hurricane Watch – Preparedness Bulletin #14

 
 

 
Note: This edition of the Hurricane Watch comes to you courtesy of the public affairs division of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (G.E.M.A.). Special thanks to Lisa Janek-Newman, Ken Davis, Robert Pierce & Kathy Huggins    

 

Preparedness Bulletin #14
August 19, 2010
Sure . . . I’ll take the helm!

Good afternoon. Ken had to shimmy up to the crow’s nest for a bit, so I’m at the wheel for now. Remember the intrepid Public Affairs Technology Specialist that he mentioned last week? Well, that’s me_ Robert Pierce. I’m the new guy on the block, best known until now for retooling GEMA’s website. Maybe that will change if I, too, can steer us clear of any hurricanes like Hurricane Watch veterans, Buzz (retired) and Ken (not retired).

He came . . . he saw . . .  he conked out!

Tropical Depression (TD) #5 was determined to make its mark on the Gulf Coast region after causing heavy downpours and wind last week. The remnants of TD #5 returned to the Gulf of Mexico Monday to try and form a Tropical Cyclone one last time. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted, “Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for some development of this system as it moves generally westward and then west-northwestward over the northern Gulf of Mexico during the next day or so.” However, try as it might, TD #5 couldn’t find the strength to survive and eventually broke up over eastern Louisiana (again). GEMA Hurricane Planner Chris Walsh announced its demise on Tuesday, thus ending the mighty struggle of this system.

Elsewhere, the Atlantic is pretty quiet. The NHC is highlighting some mild activity over the western Caribbean Sea, but currently only lists this system at a 10 percent chance of tropical cyclone formation in the next 48 hours. Statistically the last week of August and September are the most active periods so we are not quite out of the woods yet.

 
I like blue better than green . . . I think
 
According to researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the color of the ocean could actually have an effect on hurricane formation and intensity. A team of  NOAA researchers studied the North Pacific where more than half the world’s hurricanes form.  The lead researchersays the ocean has more of a green tint because of large concentrations of a pigment called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll lets small organisms called phytoplankton (try saying that ten times fast) convert sunlight into food for the rest of the ocean. Lower concentrations of phytoplankton, which in turn could lower the amount of chlorophyll, allows sunlight to penetrate deeper into the ocean. Deeper sunlight penetration leads to cooler surface temperatures which tends to prevent thunderstorms from developing the necessary superstructure allowing them to grow into hurricanes. I think this means the greener the ocean, the stronger the storm. And, conversely, the bluer the ocean, the weaker the storm. Anyway, that’s my take on this “science speak.”  
Look into my crystal ball

To novice meteorologists out there, the graphic above should be very alarming … for those who are not, it depicts a tropical cyclone making landfall on the Georgia coast on August 28, 2010. Who could predict such an ominous scenario? This is not the work of somebody craft with Photoshop, this is an actual prognostication from the Global Forecast System (GFS), a super computer based weather prediction model .. and this prediction was made on Tuesday. The GFS model is run four times daily by the National Center for Environmental Prediction, NOAA center for computer based weather prediction. The GFS is just one of many models . . . the GFDL, NOGAPS, among them . . . that attempt to predict the unpredictable: Mother Nature.

Do we all need to go out and buy bread and milk? Not exactly. This particular weather prog was derived from looking very deep into the crystal ball: 12 days deep to be exact. Weather prediction models have what us technical types call … error, and it compounds with time. Why? A computer model needs an accurate snapshot of what’s going on to predict what will happen, and actual direct measurements of the weather, relatively speaking, are far and few in between. Additionally, the models don’t understand the weather perfectly, so error compounds further.

By the way, today’s GFS progs have that “hurricane” about 1500 miles from the Georgia coast on August 28, 2010 . . . I wonder what it will predict tomorrow.

 

Question

The answer to last week’s question, “In which year were the most hurricane names retired?” is 2005. For next week, answer this,”What was the first year an aircraft flew into a hurricane?”

Life-Saving Has Gone to the Dogs – Literally!

Missy is held by her thankful owner after she went for help after a fall.

YAMHILL, Ore. (AP) – A small dog who refused to return home until a neighbor followed her helped rescue her owner after he collapsed at home following heart surgery.

Charles Mitchell said he was working in his yard last week in the Oregon wine country town of Yamhill when an 11-year-old Dachshund named Missy scampered up and refused to leave.

Mitchell told the dog to go home, but she refused. When he decided to follow her across the street to investigate, he found his neighbor – Charlie Burdon – had collapsed inside his home.

Burdon had suffered an attack of vertigo and is recovering. However, Burdon and Mitchell – who have known each other for years – both say Missy is their hero.

Charlie Burdon snuggles up to Missy after he collapsed and she went to get him help.

The News-Register originated this report.


The Atlanta Red Cross Joins Nationwide Fundraising Drive Ahead of Threatening Hurricane Season

Atlanta, August 12, 2010 — With an extremely active hurricane season looming, the impact of the Gulf oil spill that could make matters even worse, and local disasters such as the Atlanta Floods and home fires, the Atlanta Red Cross has launched a new disaster relief fundraising drive. 

“The Red Cross spends about $450 million a year responding to nearly 70,000 disasters across the country – floods, wildfires, tornados and home fires,” said Tim English, CEO at the Atlanta Red Cross. “We’re asking people to click, text or call to support Red Cross disaster relief.” 

Red Cross chapters across the state and country are taking part in the new disaster response fund-raising drive, kicked off just before the height of the hurricane season in August and September. As part of this effort, the Red Cross is airing national television ads, sending targeted fund-raising appeals, using social media and making public appeals for disaster donations. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts between 3 to 7 major hurricanes this year. Major hurricanes are those Category 3, 4 and 5 storms that do the most damage—such as Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Rita and Wilma—with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. 

These predictions bear an eerie resemblance to the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, when multiple major hurricanes, including Katrina, struck the U.S. More than 35 million people live in regions vulnerable to Atlantic hurricanes, and many in the Gulf coast region are already experiencing hardship as a result of the oil spill. 

“We’ve all seen the predictions for this year’s hurricane season, and it’s worrisome,” said English. 

Contributions for disaster relief will support response to the 70,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to every year, whether they are hurricanes that affect millions of people here or abroad, floods that affect thousands, or a house fire that drives one family from its home. 

“We’ll be asking Georgia residents for donations to help support Red Cross disaster relief, and we hope people will respond,” said English. “Every single donation brings hope to people in need.” 

Readiness is a big part of disaster relief. The American Red Cross maintains a national infrastructure of more than 24 warehouses, including one right here in Georgia, stocked with enough cots, blankets, and pre-packaged meals to serve 500,000 people; a fleet of more than 330 Emergency Response Vehicles; and an army of over 80,000 trained disaster volunteers that can be mobilized quickly. In addition, the Red Cross frequently moves supplies and people closer to an area threatened by a hurricane so they can be ready to respond quickly. These preparations cost money, and those funds have to be available long before a storm strikes. 

People who want to make a contribution to disaster response can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS to support American Red Cross Disaster Response or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation. 

You can help people affected by disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.  Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

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.