Monthly Archives: November 2011

Red Cross Volunteers Spring Into Action to Help at 42- Unit Apartment Fire


CHAMBLEE, November 14, 2011– On Friday, November 11, 2011, a team of 18 Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to a 42-unit apartment fire at the 10 Gentry’s Walk Apartments , Chamblee, GA where they provided food, clothing and emotional support to 18 displaced families. A total of 14 units were completely destroyed and several badly damaged. One very grateful client, Sharill Sanders, whose apartment and possessions were destroyed in the fire, stated: “The Red Cross volunteers were quick to help me. They are life savers. I would have nothing without you all.”

The Red Cross is presently in need of committed volunteers to provide this service to the community. Specific training for this position is necessary and is free of charge.  If you are interested in volunteering, call 404-296-0505 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday or visit (click on “Volunteer”) to learn about all volunteer opportunities.


Phone Cards: help heroes call home

“I am the Girlfriend of a US Army Soldier” tells a story which reflects the emotions of many loved ones whose family members, friends, and significant others are away to war.  On October 2, 2011, a young woman wrote on her blog “Well I got a call from my soldier!!! Sadly I didn’t have my phone on me when he called me. So now I have to wait again. I miss him in every way possible even more now. I can’t stop crying…I haven’t heard his voice in almost 3 months and its killing me.”

There is nothing more wonderful than hearing the voice of a loved one. Cell phones have allowed us to pick up the phone and be reachable at virtually anytime. But, that is not the case for service men and women of the military. You can help our deployed service member remain in touch with family and friends, and help the issue of the distance just a little more bearable.

You can purchase three different quantities of phone cards. One card is available for purchase for $20, three for $60, or five for $100. These phone cards are available for purchase on the American Red Cross website. Purchase a gift that will help save the day. The Holiday Giving Campaign catalog can be found here.

Military Comfort Kits: to help ease the suffering of wounded warriors

In the article, “The tragic story of 1st Sgt. Jeff McKinney”, author, Kelly Kennedy, addresses the depression and suicide of Sergeant Jeff McKinney, Thousands of US soldiers suffer from “depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other problems. The most difficult issue is to persuade the soldiers to seek help, as they do not want to be seen as weak or feel guilty for abandoning their duty.

During the journey from the battlefield to the hospital, a wounded service member may experience extreme discomfort and difficulty. However, basic personal i tems can significantly enhance the unfortunate experience, and you can ascertain that these items will await the injured individual. Military comfort kits include items such as a phone card, robe, shower shoes, toiletries, calendar and an MP3 gift card.

The cost of one military comfort kit is $50, two comfort kits are $100, four comfort kits are $200, and six comfort kits are $300. 20 military comfort kits cost $1000. If you wish to give a gift to the American Red Cross, the Holiday Giving Campaign catalog can be found here.

Meet Mr. James Greason: 89 Yrs. Young and Still Going Strong

Mr. James Greason, Red Cross volunteers since 1985.

An active senior volunteer, James Greason came to the Red Cross in 1985 after retiring from the U.S. Postal Service. Since joining the Red Cross, he has been a member of the Fulton County Disaster Action Team and regularly helps families affected by fires in southwest Atlanta.

Greason has served as Assistant Captain of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team in Fulton County for thirteen of his past 16 years on the team. He continues to be an integral part of the Chapter’s daytime response to disasters, bringing help and hope to families who’ve lost everything in home and apartment fires.

Falling Temps Fuel Rise in Red Cross Home Fire Responses

As colder weather settles in, at a time when home heating fires typically increase, the Atlanta Red Cross urges families to take precautions now and throughout the year. “Colder weather has arrived in Georgia and, unfortunately, we’re starting to see an increase in the number of home fires,” said Eva Coffey, Chapter Emergency Operations, North GA American Red Cross, Georgia Region. “Taking simple steps like properly using heating sources, installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and developing and practicing a fire escape plan can make a critical difference in saving lives, homes and workplaces.”  

Every 82 seconds a home fire breaks out, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Fires can cause irreparable damage to homes and businesses displacing families and employees. During its last fiscal year, the Atlanta Red Cross responded to 711 home fires and provided comfort and basic necessities to those affected. During October of this year, which is generally when home fires begin to increase, the Red Cross provided emergency food, clothing and shelter to 339 people. Coffey adds,  “Everyone at home, school and work should know what to do when they hear the sound of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector.”  

Smoke detector by Lasse Kristensen

Follow these safety recommendations:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year. 

Additional recommendations include:

  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas (avoid corners where air does not circulate). Test the alarm every month.
  • Have heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually, checking for blockages, corrosion, and partial and complete disconnections.
  • Never use a generator, grill or camp stove inside a home, garage or basement.
  • Do not use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens or clothes dryers to heat your home.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, move quickly to a fresh air location, and then call 9-1-1.
  • Treat the alarm signal as a real emergency each time. If the alarm sounds and you are not experiencing any symptoms described above, press the reset button. If the alarm continues to sound, call the fire department.

Follow your escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Visit for additional fire safety tips. 

Business, too, should be prepared. Fire is the most common of all business disasters. Companies, schools and other organizations can learn how to prepare for fires and other emergencies by becoming a member of the Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program at Complete a free, online assessment of your current readiness level and receive customized feedback with tips to improve preparedness. 

“In order to continue responding to disasters like fires at homes and businesses here in Atlanta, the Red Cross depends on the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community,” added Coffey.

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.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter empowers neighbors in 13 counties – Butts, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding and Rockdale – to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies, and ensures the delivery of vital services in Georgia through a statewide Red Cross network. The chapter/Georgia Region headquarters is located at 1955 Monroe Dr. NE, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information visit or call 404-876-3302.