Category Archives: General Information

The Red Cross helps thousands across the country

Red Cross Client Services volunteers Ivonne Cintron and Neal Reinsburrow reach out to residents of the Spruces Mobile Home Park in Williamstown, Massachusetts after the area was devastated by Hurricane Irene flooding.

The Red Cross is helping thousands of people all across the country affected by wildfires, tropical storms and flooding with shelter, meals, relief supplies and emotional support.

  • As many as 480 people spent Monday night in shelters in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, throughout New England, and right here in Georgia as a result of flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
  • The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are affecting some parts of the country where people are still trying to recover from Hurricane Irene. Red Cross workers are operating or supporting shelters, distributing meals and handing out cleaning supplies in areas where recovery efforts have begun.
  • In Texas, wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres, burning hundreds of homes in their path and forcing people to flee from their neighborhoods. The Red Cross is operating or supporting 19 shelters in Texas where almost 500 people escaped from the fire and smoke Monday night.

The costs of this multi-disaster response are growing by the hour. We estimate that Red Cross relief services will cost millions of dollars, and we haven’t raised anywhere near that amount. But the public has always come through for us when Americans need help – and we really need your help now.

  • The American Red Cross is not a government agency. We rely on donations from the public to provide our services.
  • To make a donation visit www.redcross.org , call 1-800-RED CROSS 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.

As part of our response to Irene, more than 6,300 Red Cross workers have:

  • Served more than 1.6 million meals and snacks.
  • Provided more than 58,000 overnight stays in hundreds of shelters along the East Coast.
  • Handed out more than 516,000 relief items like hygiene kits, mops, brooms, tarps, work gloves and coolers. A mobile-friendly version of our “Returning Home after a Hurricane or Flood Checklist” is available on http://www.redcross.org/mobile.
  • Provided more than 19,000 mental health and health services consultations.

 

Advertisements

VIDEO: Swim Safe This Summer!

by Kevin Hagler

Atlanta Red Cross encourages you to have a safe summer of swimming! Included are some important tips and tricks for staying safe in and around the water for you and your family.

Make sure to sign up for CPR/AED courses at http://atlantaredcross.org/ and water safety courses at your neighborhood county aquatic center.

Special thanks to:

Cobb Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs
Mountain View Aquatic Center

Atlanta Red Cross Launches Emergency Newsletter

Here at the Atlanta Red Cross, we’re always working on new ways to bring you the most important and valuable information. As such, we’ve decided to launch a free emergency newsletter that we’ll send out in case there are any critical events  that we think you should know about both here at the chapter and around Atlanta.

This newsletter will strictly be for those purposes alone and whatever information you provide will be protected. Emails will only be sent out as frequently as necessary because we know how much you hate getting spam messages (Don’t worry, we hate spam too).

You can sign up by clicking here or by copying and pasting the following url into your browser window, http://eepurl.com/eSjPo

The Atlanta Red Cross is on the Social Web

Social Media Word Cloud

Image Via nlcsocialmedia.com

Dear Red Cross Staffers, Volunteers, and the General Public,

My name is Tola and I  am one of the new interns here at the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross. Part of my job is to make sure that we are effectively social media sites like facebook and twitter to get the word about important events, weather reports, and emergencies. To do this, I have outlined a few ways that social media can help us fulfill those goals.

In truth, we’ve been active in the social web for a few years now, but we are looking to take our efforts to the next level. In order to do this successfully, we need your help.

Currently, we have about 1700 followers on twitter and 541 fans on facebook. We have also aggregated a list of nearly 150 Red Cross Chapters across the USA and many parts of the world including places as far out as the Philippines, Bolivia, Italy, and Iceland.

Especially since hurricane season is well underway, we are looking to have a more local presence in the online community so that we can provide you with valuable and up to date information that can help you plan for any emergencies. We realize that 1700 followers is not enough to serve the 5.7 million people living in the Atlanta area and that is precisely why need your help.

You can do your part by liking us on facebook and following us twitter. If you don’t have a facebook or twitter, then please tell your friends, co-workers, children and grandchildren about  our profiles. These simple steps will greatly increase the effectiveness of our communications and help us improve the quality of the service that we provide.

You can find us online at

Facebook: http://facebook.com/atlantaredcross

Twitter: http://twitter.com/atlantaredcross

Respectfully,

Omotola Ajibade

Public Affairs Intern

Social Media, Emergency Management and You

Japanese Red Cross

The world’s obsession with social media has reached a fever pitch. The rate at which new networks pop up makes it really difficult to understand it all, let alone try to derive value from it. The best way to go about starting a social media program is to look at your organization’s primary tasks and any potential voids that need to be filled. Then, decide how you want to use social media to facilitate some of those tasks and fill the gaps. Lastly, identify which social networks will be the most useful in achieving these goals.

In the case of the Red Cross, this is how it would look:

The Task:

The Red Cross is one of the world’s most influential disaster relief and emergency management organizations. As such, many people many people expect the Red Cross to be one of the first on the scene in the wake of critical events both at the local and international levels. Furthermore, because of the Red Cross’s level of influence in crisis management, the people affected by such events also expect the Red Cross to provide valuable information that can help them deal with situation.

The Void:

There’s been a steady increase in the number of regular internet users within the last decade. Recent estimates show that around 77.4% of the total population of North America and 26.2% of the rest of the world are regularly online. Online searches and social networking are among the most popular activities on the web. Therefore, it is important to have an active presence in some of the world’s popular social networks.

Implementation:

The following are just a few of the ways in which organizations like the Red Cross can use social media achieve some of its goals:

1. Communicate information about critical events and emergencies (such tornado warnings, floods, tsnuamis etc) to the public.

2. Communicate information about resources (e.g. triage stations, food banks, community shelters, and so on) that are available to victims of crises situations.

3. Coordinate fundraising and goodwill donations to aid relief efforts

4. Explain ways to prepare for the emergencies before they happen

5. Communicate information about blood drives

Execution:

By default, any social media program will include facebook, twitter, and the Red Cross’s blog. This is because facebook and twitter are the world’s most popular social networking sites and the organization’s blog serves as a central hub for receiving detailed content about the organization or other important information.

Other sites such as Youtube may also be useful.

facebookFacebook:

Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site. When people “like” a facebook page it serves as a recommendation to others in their social network. For the Red Cross, this allows for greater visibility for local chapters so that people know where to go find information about their specific regions.

twitterTwitter:

Twitter is the world’s second most popular social networking site. For many people, twitter is the site that is most difficult to understand.

Twitter is a type of short messaging system that posts information to the internet. In short, it’s like a text message to the world. When you send a tweet, it appears in the timeline of the people who are following you. Likewise, you can receive tweets from total strangers as well as people that you follow. In the event that an emergency such as tornado were to occur, the Red Cross can send out a quick short message to its followers letting them know about the situation and warning them to find safety. In the same way, people online can send quick messages to the Red Cross to let us know about such events so that we can begin to prepare and gather resources to help manage the situation.

wordpressBlog:

Blogs are important because we can put up detailed information that’s a little more permanent that what you would find on facebook and twitter. Twitter, and facebook to some degree, relies heavily on short messages that are processed in real time. This means that the most recent information appears at top of the web page. Because of this, they are not the best for posting lengthy information such as instruction on how to find a shelter after a storm.

Blogs tend to be updated a little less frequently and they allow for greater flexibility of information. This makes them perfect for posting information in the right amount of detail so that there is less confusion about where resources are located and how victims can best manage themselves.

youtubeYoutube:

Youtube is the world’s most popular video hosting site as well as the second largest search engine. It’s estimated that about 24 hours or footage is posted on youtube every minute. Youtube videos can be used to show the extent of the damage caused by critical events and instructions on how to properly perform procedures like CPR.

Sources:

http://gigaom.com

http://pewinternet.org

http://switched.com

http://internetworldstats.com