Monthly Archives: August 2011

GA Relief Supplies/ Vols. Supporting Irene Relief Efforts

National Red Cross "Mega" Warehousel, Union City,GA

Tuesday, August 30, 2011– Thirty-six Red Cross disaster volunteers from metro Atlanta – 56 from Georgia – are among thousands already supporting Hurricane Irene relief efforts in 14 east coast states, from the Carolinas to Maine.  The group includes new volunteers on their first national disaster assignment and veteran responders playing leadership roles in operations in New York (Jeanne Spears, Health Services and Bob Butler, Government Liaison), Maryland (Jack McCaffery, Operations Management) and North Carolina (Bill Parks, Communication Technology).

 The Atlanta-based Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV), capable of powering essential equipment for a Red Cross relief operation under disaster conditions, deployed last night for North Carolina. In addition, Georgia’s entire fleet of Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) used for mobile feeding is “on the road to relief.”  In fact, every Red Cross ERV east of the Rocky Mountains – more than 250 vehicles – has been mobilized to help.

The Red Cross Disaster Field Supply Center in Union City, Georgia, one of more than a dozen strategically placed supply centers nationwide, received its first shipment request for generators and clean-up kits last night.  Tens of thousands of essential items are already pre-positioned along the East Coast, including prepackaged meals.

While many states are still assessing damage, the Red Cross expects to be helping people in hard-hit areas for several weeks and has already supported more than 500 shelters for 27,000 people fleeing the hurricane. Additional requests for volunteers and supplies are anticipated.

Anyone wishing to help provide Red Cross relief for the millions impacted by Hurricane Irene is encouraged to click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.

  • Visit www.redcross.org or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Contributions can be sent to the Metro Atlanta Chapter at P.O. Box 101508, Atlanta, GA 30392 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
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Red Cross gears up for Hurricane Irene

The tropical storm is now a hurricane and Red Cross chapters along the East Coast are gearing up for Irene’s potential path and destruction. In Georgia, Jack Looney, emergency services head of South Georgia’s Red Cross, is preparing by organizing with local emergency management agencies and Red Cross volunteers in eleven counties while scouting potential shelter locations.

Residents who live around the coast especially need to take Hurricane Irene seriously! Preparation for catastrophic events is key. Families and individuals need to finalize their hurricane plans, make a disaster supplies kit, and stay informed of Irene’s path (Check out the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center website to stay informed of the storm). Kits should contain a three-day supply of water for each person, along with food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit. (See Below for a full list)

  •  Get a three-day supply of water ready for each person on hand, along with food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kid;
  • Plan routes to emergency shelters and register family members with special needs as required;
  • Make plans for pets;
  • Bring items inside that can be picked up by the wind;
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out;
  • Turn off any propane tanks and unplug small appliances;
  • Fill their vehicle’s gas tank;
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If hurricane shutters aren’t an option, close and board up windows and doors with plywood.

(Remember, The North Atlantic Hurricane Season runs July to November and experts predict that it will be a busy one. So if Irene doesn’t hit you, then others might so prepare NOW.)

The American Red Cross is urging immediate blood donations prior to the Hurricane Irene’s arrival.

It’s the blood that is already on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster. The Red Cross is still working to stabilize the blood supply after our summer shortages. If people will donate blood now, before the storm, then blood will be available in the aftermath should conditions prohibit people from traveling or coming to blood drives.

Across the country, blood centers are struggling to keep pace with demand. Nationwide, around 44,000 blood donations are needed each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment. When disaster strikes, this need does not diminish, even though blood donors may find it difficult or impossible to get to a convenient donation opportunity. Also, if collections are negatively impacted by a disaster, the long-term care needs of these patients could be affected.

To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org/southern where you can find a list of blood donation sites in your area.

Follow the Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region @RedCrossBloodGA

Nationwide, the American Red Cross begins disaster preparations long before a hurricane makes landfall, and keeps supplies and equipment on stand-by all year to help people in need. On average, the Red Cross spends about $450 million on disaster relief every year. If someone would like to support Red Cross disaster efforts, they can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or sending contributions to their local Red Cross chapter by clicking on the DONATE tab at the top of the page or this link.

Tropical Storm Irene’s on track to hit Florida, Georgia

by Kevin Hagler

UPDATE: While Hurricane Irene didn’t cause any significant damage to Georgia, please follow this link for an update on Atlantic activity.

Hurricane warnings are being issued as Tropical Storm Irene is projected to become a hurricane within the next couple days. The storm is heading straight for South Florida and could land in Georgia around the Savannah harbor sometime next week.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

MIAMI — A hurricane warning has been issued for Puerto Rico and the northern Coast of the Dominican Republic as Tropical Storm Irene approaches.

Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami say Irene could become a hurricane by Monday. On Sunday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph (32 kph).

The warning in the Dominican Republic applies to the north coast from Cabo Engano to Cabo Frances Viejo.

Meanwhile, a hurricane watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Haiti, the U.S. Virgin Islands and a host of other islands.

This is a live-updating graphic from the National Hurricane Center

Make sure to check out this link for more information on how to be Red Cross Ready during hurricane season.

Check out the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center website to stay informed of the storm.

Red Cross Offers Tips to Keep Athletes Safe in Extreme Heat

by Kevin Hagler

Young athlete stays hydrated in the heat

While Georgia is still sweating from a looming heat wave, many kids are heading back to school. And in the wake of recent student athlete deaths, the Red Cross recommends that parents and coaches take steps to ensure the safety of their kids.

(Since when did school start so early, anyway?)

Of course these tips don’t have to be  exclusive to school kids. I am on my third attempt to get in better shape this year. I’ve adopted running as my newest hobby and will run a 5k in just a little over a month! Training in all this heat has not been pleasant and these measures will definitely come in handy.

Anyway, check out these Red Cross tips and tricks  on how athletes can stay safe in the heat:

During the hot weather make sure to train early in the day or later in the evening. Parents: team practices should be held at these cooler times of day to avoid exposing players to the extreme heat. Other steps teams, schools and parents should take to protect their athletes, and themselves, include:

  • Allow athletes to get acclimated to the heat by reducing the intensity of practice until they are accustomed to it.
  • Make frequent, longer breaks a regular part of practice. About every 20 minutes stop for fluids and try to keep the athletes in the shade if possible.
  • Reduce the amount of heavy equipment –like football pads– athletes wear in extremely hot, humid weather.
  • Dress athletes, when appropriate, in net-type jerseys or light weight, light colored, cotton t-shirts or shorts.
  • Know the signs of heat-related emergencies and monitor athletes closely

Knowing the signs of heat-related emergencies and how to help someone who is suffering from the heat is especially important given the tragic student deaths which may have been prevented if the proper actions were taken. Coaches and parents need to be vigilant in watching for signs. Athletes should inform their coaches, teachers, or parents if they are not feeling well. Luckily, we have them listed below:

Heat cramps are pains and spasms that usually occur in teh legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with heat. If someone is experiencing heat cramps:

  • Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in  comfortable position.
  • Give a half glass of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can often make conditions worse.

Heat exhaustion is caused by a combination of exercise induced heat and fluid and electrolyte loss from sweating. Signs of heat exhuastion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion. To help someone with these symptoms:

  • Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing. Spray him or her with water to apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in his or her condition.
  • If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.

  • Signs of heat stroke include those of heat exhaustion and hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; change or loss of consciousness; seizures; vomiting; and high body temperature.
  • Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
  • Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. If unable to immerse them, continue rapid cooling by applying bags of ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits, spraying with water and/or fanning.

You can also learn how to prevent and respond to heat-related and other emergencies by taking a First Aid/CPR/AED course. Call us at (404) 876-3302 or visit redcross.org/training to register.

Watching Emily

From RedCrossChat.org:

Posted on August 3rd, 2011 by Gloria Huang

As Tropical Storm Emily makes its way across the Dominican Republic and Haiti today, we are watching the storm closely to see how it develops. Red Cross response teams are on standby in Haiti, where ongoing disaster risk reduction programs are also helping Haitians prepare for hurricane season.

There is a chance that Emily will weaken as she moves over high terrain in Haiti and the DR. Here at the Red Cross, we are watching her every move to anticipate the response that will be needed.

You can watch with us as well – take a look at these infographics and links that explain how hurricanes are formed and what their life cycles tend to look like:

Courtesy of Infographicworld.com