Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work... 

LIBYALibyan refugees in Tunisia and people displaced within Libya itself are returning to their homes in many areas in the Jebel Nefusa including Jadu, Nalut and Zintan where the ICRC distributed 3,000 hygiene parcels and some 18,000 cans of food to returnees. 

HORN OF AFRICA: Today, The American Red Cross announced an additional $1.7 million contribution toward the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa. This additional pledge was made because despite widespread relief efforts in the region, massive humanitarian needs persist, with 12 million people impacted by three years of crippling drought. 

BANGLADESH: The IFRC launched an appeal for 1.3 million Swiss francs to provide emergency relief to support 50,000 people affected by the widespread floods in Bangladesh. The American Red Cross has contributed $50,000 to the cause. 

USA: Thousands of Red Cross disaster workers are working in the major relief operation along the eastern seaboard launched by the American Red Cross to help people in the path of Hurricane Irene. 


ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Katrina: Six Years Later.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

There are 
so many stories to tell about such a huge and devastating event. Here are just a few of them. From swimming lessons to rebuilding homes - these are a few of the ways that volunteers have helped (and continue to help) Katrina survivors recover.

After you watch these videos, we also suggest checking out A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge - an excellent graphic novel about the real life experiences of several New Orleans residents before, during and after Katrina.

"He just gave me so much relief. I felt like I could just breathe. The weight was just lifted off, and he just kept on reassuring me that, 'Red Cross is really going to help you. We're going to do everything we can.' And he did.

Hurricane Irene: Recover and Rebuild.

While Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irene has come and gone, the Red Cross and Government Agencies are still working to determine the extent of the damage. The Red Cross has launched one of the largest relief operations in recent memory with millions still without power, many people isolated, and possibly $10 billion worth of flood and wind damage. Restoring power is likely to take weeks, and your support is critical to help the Red Cross work with affected areas and prepare nationwide for future disasters. Here’s how you can get involved and make a difference: 
Make a financial donation— The most immediate and direct impact you can make is to donate to the disaster relief fund.
Volunteer— Hundreds of trained volunteers have already been deployed, and more may be needed in the future. Sign up today.

Note: At this time
the Red Cross is
 not accepting donated goods. As needs arises, this may change. 

Other ways you can get involved: 
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work... 

LIBYA: The ICRC has begun distribution of medical and surgical kits to hospitals in the capital city of Tripoli. The ICRC has had a permanent presence in Tripoli since mid-April of this year. 

NORTH KOREA: An emergency appeal has been launched by IFRC to provide supplies of food and non-food relief, shelter materials, clean water and health care to 30,000 people who have been badly affected by storms and floods. The American Red Cross will contribute $50,000 for the international response in North Korea. 

SOMOLIA: With the opening of the four new feeding programs, Somali Red Crescent feeding centers now cover the whole country, including all areas most affected by malnutrition. Somalia has been in the grip of a severe drought since October 2010. 
IRAQ: The ICRC released a film today that highlights the difficulties of Iraqi women who shoulder the burden of caring for their families alone. An estimated one million women struggle to feed their families and continue to depend on outside help. 

USA: Hurricane Irene is the first major hurricane of 2011 threatening the East Coast and the American Red Cross is preparing for a full disaster response. The Red Cross urges people to get a three-day supply of water, food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit. Irene could affect blood collections along the East Coast and The Red Cross is urging those who are eligible to give blood prior to the storm’s arrival. 


ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

How Americans use Social Tools in Disasters: Infographic

According to two new surveys conducted by the American Red Cross, Americans are relying more and more on social media, mobile technology and online news outlets to learn about ongoing disasters, seek help and share information about their well-being after emergencies. We saw this yesterday in response to the East Coast Quake (including a 'laughter'-shock) and companies are realizing they can take simple steps to help save lives, such as Apple announcing it is going to add earthquake notifications to their next iPhone/iPad operating system in Japan. Below in an infographic with some key findings of the survey- 

How Americans use Social Tools in Disasters: Infographic


You can read the complete study results, including methodology, here!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How To Use Our Safe & Well Tool

Whether it be a Hurricane that strikes the Gulf, or an Earthquake that shakes the East Coast many people turn to the Red Cross Safe & Well site to reconnect with their loved ones.
Whenever disaster strikes, the American Red Cross is able to assist on the scene to provide relief, first aid and mental health to those in need.
Staying connected is an important coping mechanism in a situation like this one, so we’d like to show you how the Safe & Well tool works. Take a couple of minutes to acquaint yourself with it and make a plan with your loved ones to reconnect here if you’re ever involved in an emergency incident.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Three Days Left To Subscribe and Design Your Red Cross T-Shirt!

Are you a design guru? If you've been watching our blog, you know that Threadless is hosting an amazing t-shirt design challenge on behalf of the Red Cross! 

If you were planning to submit a design but find yourself stressing on the deadline, great news! 

The contest submission date has been extended untilAugust 25, so you still have 3 days to get your art in gear! 

Remember, if your Threadless submission is selected, your shirt sales help benefit the Red Cross and YOU will receive: 

1. $1750 cash
2. $250 Threadless gift certificate
3. Two tickets to the celebrity-attended Red Tie Affair in Santa Monica, CA on April 21, 2012
4. $500 towards airfare to attend The Red Tie Affair
5. A 2-night stay at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica 

For full terms and conditions, click here. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work... 
MALAWI: 120,000 long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets are being distributed by the Malawi Red Cross with support from the IFRC.
ETHIOPIA: The Ethiopian Red Cross is providing camels for a number of families who have lost their livelihoods in Ethiopia.
KENYA: The Kenya Red Cross's 'Kenyans for Kenya' has raised approximately $5 million to deliver immediate food, water, and health assistance to those suffering from the current drought.
The Red cross of Côte d’Ivoire, with support from the IFRC has rolled out the first phase of its emergency assistance for almost 1,000 families from 17 communities in theToulépleu Prefecture affected by the crisis that followed the controversial results of the 2010 presidential elections in the country. 
USAPaul Olson, 79, makes his 400th donation of blood at the American Red Cross Headquarters for the Penn-Jersey region. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keeping Your Children Safe After School With These Red Cross Tips!

As children around the nation are returning to school, many of them will be spending time home alone after school until their parents get home from work.

The American Red Cross has steps parents and children can take to make these after-school hours safer and less stressful. The Red Cross recommends that parents and guardians take the following steps if a child will be home alone after school.

If the child is going to go home after school, it’s a good idea to have them call to check in when they get home. For an older child, set ground rules about whether other kids can come over when the parents are absent, whether cooking is an option, whether they can leave the home.

Other steps that parents and guardians can include in their home safety plans:
  • Post an emergency phone list where the children can see it. Include 9-1-1, the parents work and cell numbers, numbers for neighbors, and the numbers for anyone else who is close and trusted.
  • Identify neighbors whose home your child can go to in case of an emergency that requires your child to leave your home.
  • Practice an emergency plan with the child so they know what to do in case of fire, injury, or other emergencies. Write the plan down and make sure the child knows where it is.
  • Make sure the first aid kit is stocked and stored where your children can find it; keep it out of reach of young children.
  • Let children know where the flashlights are kept. Make sure that the batteries are fresh, and that the child knows how to use them.
  • Remove or safely store in locked areas dangerous items like guns, ammunition, knives, hand tools, power tools, razor blades, scissors, and other objects that can cause injury.
  • Make sure potential poisons like detergents, polishes, pesticides, car-care fluids, lighter fluid and lamp oils are stored in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.
  • Make sure medicine is kept in a locked storage place or out of the reach of children.
  • Limit any cooking a young child can do. Make sure at least one approved smoke alarm is installed and operating on each level of the home.
  • Limit the time the child spends in front of the television or computer. Activate parental controls. Use programs that limit the sites children can visit, restrict chat sites and allow parents to monitor online activity.
Safety Steps for Children
When talking to kids about being at home alone, parents should stress the following steps, and post them somewhere to remind the child about what they should, or shouldn’t, do until mom, dad or caregiver get home:
  • Lock the door and make sure all the windows are closed and locked.
  • If the home has an electronic security system, children should learn how to turn it on and have it on when home alone.
  • Never open the door to strangers. Always check before opening the door to anyone, looking out through a peephole or window first. Only open the door for people that parents and guardians have given you permission to let in the house. If unsure, contact your caregiver.
  • Never tell someone on the telephone that the parents are not at home. Say something like “He or she is busy right now. Can I take a message?”
  • Never leave the house without permission. If it’s okay to go outside, children should contact their parents and tell them where they are going, when they are leaving, and when they will return. If mom and dad are still at work, children should call them when they leave and when they return home.
  • Do not go outside to check out an unusual noise. If the noise worries the child, they should call their parents, an adult, or the police.
  • If the child smells smoke or hears a fire or smoke alarm, they should get outside and ask a neighbor to call the fire department.
For more tips on how to keep you and your family prepared, please contact the American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter at (559) 455-1000 or

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prepare-aphernalia: The Razor and Mirror Credit Card

I present to you, the Carzor - a razor and mirror that folds up like a credit card to fit in your wallet.

In my book this sleek little wonder of modern design ranks 10 out of 10 on the handy-in-a-disaster scale.

Why? Well, not only would it make a great addition to your disaster kit, but having a razor on hand could help save someone's life. Not to mention, this can used outside of disaster preparedness, like let's say an impromptu business meeting or interview where you'd want to get rid of that pesky five o clock shadow. Have no feear, your Carzor is here!
If you ever have to use an AED on a man who has gone into cardiac arrest, you'll want to get the hair off his chest so you can stick the adhesive shock pads on. Some AED kits come with disposable razors for just this purpose, but if you've already got a razor with you you're one step ahead of the game.

How much is a life worth? More than $12? Well then, the Carzor may just be a preparedness investment worth making.

[Note: We don't endorse, nor sell, the prepare-aphernalia products we feature here. We just like to share cool stuff we come across.]

Friday, August 12, 2011

Parents Rejoice...It's Back To School Time!

In August, SafeKids USA sponsors Back to School Safety Month. It’s a reminder for motorists to be aware of children walking to school or waiting at bus stops. Back to School Safety Month is also a good time to talk to your kids about how to be safe on their way to and from school.
SafeKids USA provides a great list of tips for both motorists and school children:back to school safety
For Motorists:
  • Slow down and be especially alert in the residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving
For Kids:
  • They should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
  • Make sure they always walk in front of the bus, where the driver can see them
Remember, if you’re child rides his or her back to school, strap a helmet on to prevent injury in case of a spill. Also make sure children know their home phone number and address in case they need to contact you.
In addtion to these steps, we recommend stocking your child with hand sanitizer and tissues. While most classrooms provide both of these to help reduce the risk of spreading sickness, it never hurts to be extra prepared.
What other back to school safety tips do you talk about with your kids?