Thursday, January 26, 2012

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...

SYRIA: Violence in Syria continues with one of the latest casualties being the secretary-general of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Dr. Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro. Dr. Jbeiro was shot in a vehicle clearly marked with the red crescent emblem after attending meetings at Syrian Arab Red Crescent headquarters in Damascus. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, IFRC, and ICRC are renewing calls for an end to violence, while volunteers continue to administer life-saving first aid to the injured.

IVORY COAST: Following the second round of presidential elections in late 2010 where both candidates claimed victory, tension and violence grew into a full-fledged armed conflict in Ivory Coast. In the chaos, hundreds of children lost contact with their families. The ICRC and the Liberian Red Cross have registered around 600 children separated from their parents and areworking to bring the children back their families.

PHILIPPINES: As tens of thousands of survivors in Mindanao, Philippines enter their second month of uncertainty, the Red Cross is announcing plans to drastically increase its support to communities affected by December’s Typhoon Washi. The revised operation will see the Red Cross provide 2,000 families with cash or other livelihoods support as well as reaching 15,000 families – an estimated 75,000 people – with food, water storage containers and hygiene kits. In all, the Red Cross now intends to reach 100,000 people through these various interventions.

SUDAN: For Darfur's pastoral communities, livestock is essential for their sustenance and constitutes the backbone of the local economy. The lack of rain, desertification and prevailing insecurity has stressed herding communities into animal overcrowding at the few options remaining, leading to increased risk of disease. The ICRC has been extending its support by training animal health workers and through large-scale vaccination campaigns in remote areas of Darfur, and in response herders are reporting a dramatic decrease in the number of animals they are losing to disease.


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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

American Red Cross Responds to 12th Fire of the Season

Fresno, CA, January 25, 2012— Local American Red Cross volunteers responded to a house fire on 4400 block of East Ball Avenue in Fresno, Ca at approximately 4:14AM this morning. The team of Red Cross volunteers helped coordinate assistance in the form of food, shelter, and emotional support to the 4 adults and 4 children who were affected by the fire. This marked the 12th fire the Central Valley Chapter has responded to this year. Last year, the Central Valley Region responded to 545 fires. 
“We’re deeply saddened for those affected,” said Ellen Knapp, Regional CEO. “As we continue to provide support to those affected, we also encourage others to take action to minimize the risk of a home fire.”

The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan.

• Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

• Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms. • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. • Have a plan in place can help you escape, including at least two ways to escape from every

room of your home and a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home. • Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year.

Red Cross volunteers on the scene were members of the Chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.

For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit or

To make a financial donation to your local Red Cross to help people affected by house fires and other disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text - visit, or call (559) 455-1000 or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolutions You'll Want To Keep In 2012!

The dawning of a new year gives us all a chance to look forward and change for the better. In 2012, you can make a difference to others and help keep your family safe by making some Red Cross resolutions.

Resolution: Give of Yourself
You can make a difference in your community and around the world by giving of yourself in 2012. You can:

Give time. The Red Cross has volunteer opportunities for people of all ages and interests. Contact your local chapter or search online to see what’s available.

Give a donation. 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. With a contribution to the Red Cross, you can help us shelter, feed and provide emotional support to victims of disasters; supply nearly half of the nation's blood; teach lifesaving skills; provide international humanitarian aid; and support military members and their families.

Resolution: Get Prepared

1. Get a kit. If you’ve ever fumbled to find a flashlight during a blackout, you know what it feels like to be unprepared. Gain some peace of mind by gathering the following supplies now:
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water—one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene purposes.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit, medications and medical items
  • Copies of all important documents (proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Extra cash
Use a downloadable checklist to make things even easier when assembling your emergency preparedness kit.

2. Make a plan. Talk with family and household members about what you would do during emergencies that are most likely to happen in your area.

Plan what to do in case you are separated, and choose two places to meet—one right outside your home, in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

Other planning tips:
Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. All household members should have this person’s phone number and email address. It may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.
Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept.
Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable.
Plan ahead for your pets. If you must evacuate, make arrangements for your animals. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

3. Be informed. Know the risks where you live, work, learn and play.
If you live or travel often to areas near a fault line, learn how to prepare and what to do during an earthquake. If summer brings to mind not just beaches and picnics but also tropical storms and hurricanes, arm yourself with information about what to do in case one occurs. Remember that emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them.
Find out how you would receive information from local officials in the event of an emergency.
Learn first aid and CPR/AED so that you have the skills to respond in an emergency before help arrives, especially during a disaster when emergency responders may not be as available. Contact your local chapter to get trained.

Visit for more information on how to prepare for all types of emergencies.