Today in Red Cross History and More Fast Facts

Happy May 31 everyone! Today is Fast Fact Day here at the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts and we are kicking it off with some American Red Cross history.

Today is the 123rd anniversary of the “Great Flood” that struck Johnstown Pennsylvania in 1889.  The tragic event took many lives and the estimated damage was estimated at $17 million. One of the first responders was Clara Barton and other volunteers from the Red Cross.  The Johnstown flood was the first natural disaster that was responded to by the American Red Cross and over 25,000 volunteers arrived to do tasks ranging from building hotels for the victims to providing medical support. 

Now for some quick fast fact goodies:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S needs blood
  • If you live in the city as the summer heat begins to climb, remember to take extra precautions as the stagnant and humid air associated with urban environments trap pollutants and combined with excessive heat can bring about dehydration and asthma.  So keep cool!
  • The Red Cross is a global organization and has a chapter in close to 80 countires.  The International Committee of the Red Cross adopted three different emblems to symbolize the Red Cross – the red cross, the red cresent moon, and the red crystal.

And finally some safety fast facts:

  • If there is an earthquake and you are in bed just stay there, curl up, hold on, and put a pillow over your head to protect yourself.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • And remember no matter what always swim with a buddy.

Stay tuned for more fast facts every week!


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