Monthly Archives: July 2012

Military Wife Touts Red Cross Reconnections Workshops, Sponsored by Walmart

The Creech Family (l-r): Sgt. First Class Ryan Creech, Mitchell, Amy and Dillon

My name is Amy Creech and I am a Red Cross volunteer and military spouse. My husband has been an active duty army soldier for 16 years and counting. I am extremely proud to be a military spouse but military life is not without its challenges, especially when it comes to deployments for the service member and the loved ones waiting at home. Homecomings bring tremendous happiness and a great sense of relief but are not always easy. That’s why I am so glad that the American Red Cross offers the Reconnection Workshops, presented by Walmart, which help our heroes transition back into civilian life.

This is a wonderful program of five standalone workshops which last approximately two hours each. They are for service members and their families and examples of topics covered include; Communicating Clearly, Dealing with Stress and Trauma, and Relating to Children. These workshops are free to service members and their families and are given by licensed mental health professionals.

We are also in need of facilitators to help us deliver the program. So if you’re a service member or family of a service member or you are a mental health professional who would like to volunteer as a Reconnection Workshops facilitator, I encourage you to check out our website at or by phone at (404)876 3302 and ask about the Reconnection Workshops.


Atlanta Red Cross Set to Launch Reconnection Workshops for Returning Service Members

ATLANTA, July 18, 2012 — The Atlanta Red Cross will host an information meeting for prospective Reconnection Workshops facilitators on August 1, 7 PM, at Atlanta Red Cross headquarters (1955 Monroe Dr. N.E./Atlanta,GA 30324). Launched nationally in 2011, the American Red Cross, with support from Walmart, has developed the Reconnection Workshops for all military families to assist service members, veterans, their families and other loved ones in the transition home after a deployment. Meeting attendees will receive an overview of the Reconnection Workshops program and be briefed on the details of being a program facilitator. Representatives from Care for the Troops, the Georgia Warrior Alliance and the Scott Rigsby Foundation are currently scheduled to attend the information meeting. Other prospective facilitators are also invited to attend.

Reconnection Workshops facilitiators are actively licensed and specially trained Red Cross mental health professionals who lead participants through information and discussions designed to help them identify and respond to the challenges of readjusting to and transitioning back to a changed family dynamic. The workshops are targeted to service members and their spouses, children, parents, siblings and significant others. Participants have the option of choosing any or all of the workshops. Topics include:

• Communicating Clearly
• Exploring Stress and Trauma
• Identifying Depression
• Relating to Children
• Working Through Anger

Each workshop is approximately 2 hours in length. Participants can take them in any order and select those most applicable to their situation. Workshops are free to military members and their families and occur in a supportive and confidential environment.

“Deployments are a fact of life in the military,” said Lauren Pearse, Service to the Armed Forces and Quality Assurance Coordinator for the Georgia Red Cross. “Whether a service member’s absence is due to a training exercise, sea duty, combat, or unaccompanied duty in a remote location, separation and reunification pose unique opportunities as well as challenges for all family members. The American Red Cross, with support from Walmart, developed a series of workshops to assist all military families in managing the family’s readjustment to the service member’s return.”

For more information about the Reconnections workshops or to register for future workshops go to or contact the Atlanta Red Cross at (404)876-3302.

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 or join our blog at

More Rain for Florida, Tropical Storm Activity Picks up in the Pacific

This information courtesy of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA)
Preparedness Bulletin #8
Thursday July 12, 2012

A tropical wave southeast of the Florida Peninsula is expected to travel through the Florida Straits and into the Gulf of Mexico through the weekend, increasing moisture over the Florida Peninsula and boosting chances for rainfall, according to the National Hurricane Center. Two other tropical waves have been identified: one is in the middle of the tropical Atlantic, nearing Puerto Rico; the other recently moved off the coast of Africa. None of these waves should become stronger tropical systems because there is too much dry air in the atmosphere and too much competing wind. This pattern of low tropical activity is not expected to change this week or next.

Meanwhile another tropical storm, Fabio, has formed in the Pacific. This storm could become a hurricane within the next couple of days, but is expected to offshore of Mexico. Hurricane Emilia strengthened again to near 115 miles per hour, but is expected to gradually weaken in the next 12 hours. That storm is currently southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California and is moving west at 12 miles per hour.

Come on El Niño
An increase in Pacific tropical storm activity may be an indicator of a building El Niño. Accuweather.comhas an in-depth article describing the effects of this weather pattern, but the end result is that the Atlantic could have fewer tropical storms and hurricanes. Or maybe not.

Chatham County’s Evacuation Assembly Area is Ready for Hurricane Season
Chatham County EMA recently updated its websitewith comprehensive information on its Evacuation Assembly Area. The webpage includes a video identifying what evacuees should bring to the assembly area and how it can accommodate individuals with unique needs or those with pets.

Question of the Week
While I was on vacation Ken made a Herculean effort to stump our weather aficionados, generating responses from The Silver Fox, B.C. of Rockdale and L.D. The question was “What was the first hurricane to be photographed from outer space?”
In 1961 Trios 111 took the first satellite pictures of a hurricane, photographing Hurricane Anna and then hurricanes Betsy, Carla and Debbie. Hurricane Esther was the first such storm to be discovered using satellite imagery. In all cases, the Trios pictures provided important supplements to reconnaissance aircraft observations and to data obtained by ground-based observations, by fixing the position of the hurricane center and showing the extent of the spiral cloud bands.

This week’s question requires a little background: 1999’s Hurricane Floyd caused the third largest evacuation in US history. That storm started as a Cape Verde-type hurricane, which is usually the largest and most intense one or two storms of the season because they often have plenty of warm open ocean over which to develop before encountering land. The question is “What was the last Cape Verde-type hurricane to make landfall as a Category 5 storm?”


ATLANTA,  July 12, 2012 — Imagine being burned while cooking a family meal. As the pain ensues and panic sets in, several questions might come to mind: 

Do I bandage the burn or leave it uncovered? Should I wash the wound and apply antiseptic or should I use water alone? Should I be alert for signs of infection and when do I call 9-1-1? 

To provide quick solutions to these and other safety questions, the Red Cross recently launched its official first aid app, putting free and simple lifesaving information right in the hands of smart phone users. 

This app is the first in a series to be created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in first aid and emergency preparedness information. It’s also the only first aid app created or endorsed by the American Red Cross for use on both the Android and iPhone platforms. It gives instant access to information on how to handle the most common first aid situations, and includes videos and interactive quizzes. Users who take quizzes can earn badges they can share with friends through social media to show off their lifesaving knowledge.

The app takes critical first aid information normally stored on bookshelves and in pamphlets and places it at the fingertips of tens of millions of individuals – which will save lives. The Red Cross app includes trusted Red Cross disaster preparedness information for a number of common situations. 

“The penetration of personal smart phone ownership in the U.S. has recently risen above 60 percent and will likely soon reach the level of traditional wire line phones,” said Jack McMaster, president, Preparedness and Health and Safety Services at the Red Cross. “The broad availability of this platform opens a new opportunity for us to create custom apps, free of charge, tailored to specific emergencies confronting individuals no matter where they are.” 

“The American Red Cross First Aid app is a free and easy way to get lifesaving first aid instruction and disaster preparedness information anytime, anywhere,” said Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council chair Dr. David Markenson. “Everyone should load this onto their smart phone as an important first step in learning what to do for medical emergencies and in creating a family preparedness plan.” 

App features include: 

  • Simple step-by-step instructions for everyday first aid scenarios;
  • Prioritized steps to take during an emergency, with 9-1-1 call button;
  • Sharable badges to be unlocked through interactive quizzes;
  • Videos and animations to make learning first aid fun and easy;
  • Safety and preparedness tips for a range of conditions including severe winter weather, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes;
  • Preloaded content that gives instant access to all safety information at any time.
  • The app is free and available for iPhone and Android users. Find the app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. 

The new app builds on the American Red Cross legacy of teaching first aid and lifesaving skills to people across the country. An average of more than 9 million people a year receive Red Cross training in first aid, water safety and other skills that help save lives.

Downloading the app is not a substitute for training. To learn more about American Red Cross first aid or register for a course, visit 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at