Stay prepared for hurricanes with the Red Cross Hurricane app!

We are getting into the prime of hurricane season and although New England doesn’t experience many hurricanes, it is important to be aware of what you can do to prepare for one.  The Hurricane app developed by the Red Cross is user friendly and perfect for knowing what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.  Download the app and familiarize yourself with all it has to offer before a hurricane is on its way.  

The app opens to the Prepare screen which is further categorized to Right before, During, After, Plan ahead, and Make a plan.  Each category has details on what you should be aware of.  For instance – Right before teaches you the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning, Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations, among other useful tips to note.  There is also a checklist to ensure you are ready in the instance that a hurricane is approaching.  The other categories work very similarly with tips throughout the entire timeline of a hurricane.

Do you want to ensure you know what to do in case of a hurricane?  There are several test options to test your knowledge from the Prepare link.  It’s a quick way to test your knowledge before it is too late.  

There are also options to set your phone up to pull in information for your specific location.  By doing this, be in the know all the time.  You will receive updates from the app if there is a watch or a warning in your area.  You can pick several locations, so if you travel a lot for work, you can receive information for all the locations you select.  Also be aware of the current hurricanes around the nation by clicking the link to Tracker and Weather Map.  

If a hurricane is approaching, it will be handy to know where the Red Cross shelters are located.  This is easily found by clicking on the link at the top labeled Shelters.  The shelters are pinpointed on the map with the name of the location.

You can find all this information and so much more by downloading the app.  Just search Red Cross Hurricane on your smartphone, download, and you’re done!  It’s that easy!  

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“100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.” Campaign

The Red Cross is launching a new campaign this summer “100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.” reminds everyone the need for blood is constant, even during the summer. There are about two fewer donors at every blood drive between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays.

All blood types are needed. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.  People can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information or to make a donation appointment.

People can also help those in need by making a financial donation this summer to help the Red Cross respond when disaster threatens.  Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster somewhere in this country.  During the summer, the Red Cross responds to hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.

The Red Cross also holds classes in CPR and First Aid so that people have the knowledge and confidence when an emergency occurs.

There is a way for everyone to get involved in 100 Days of Summer.  100 Days of Hope.  Find your way to get involved at redcross.org!

Response to Balkans Flooding

The American Red Cross has contributed a total of $400,000 towards the relief efforts of the Balkans. Humanitarian needs in the Balkans include provision of emergency shelter, food, relief items, safe drinking water, and hygiene items, emotional support, as well as reconnecting family members.

In May, three months’ worth of rainfall poured over the Balkans region in just three days.  This affected Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia.  About 40 percent of Bosnia and Herzegovina was under water.  As of May 27, nearly 3.1 million people were affected by the floods and landslides including 60 people who lost their lives.  Almost 100,000 people have been evacuated.

Opening of the Lawrence Office

On May 28, the American Red Cross of Massachusetts celebrated the grand opening of the Lawrence Office with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Many people from the community were there to celebrate the event including Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera who spoke. Also in attendance were Chief Disaster Officer Leighton Jones, Fire Chief John Marsh, and Disaster Program Manager Deb Duxbury.

Duxbury and her team, who were based out of Haverhill, had been working since March 31 to make the move to the 60 Island Street location in Lawrence.  During this time volunteers have been running CPR classes, volunteer training courses, and limited programming.  Now that the official opening has occured, the team can proceed with the programs which require state licensing such as Certified Nurse Assistance training.  One of the goals of the new location is to increase the volunteer base since it is easy to walk to and accessible by train. 

 

Thunderstorm Awareness

Now that the summer has finally arrived, and thunderstorms tend to occur, the Red Cross wants to make you aware of what you should do to keep yourself safe.

  • If thunder roars, go indoors.  Chances are if you hear thunder, you are close enough to lightning.
  • Be aware of storm signs – darkening skies, lightning, and strong winds.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Take shelter inside a secure building or car.
  • Do not take a bath or use plumbing.
If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well web site to let your family and friends know you are safe. You may also call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.

 

Thank You Veterans!

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As Memorial Day approaches, the American Red Cross would like to thank all members of the military and their families for their selfless service.

There several events which will be happening this Memorial Day weekend to remember all our veterans:

Saturday, May 24 at 9AM the Red Cross will be participating in Operation Flags for Vets.  Volunteers will help place flags at the graves of our fallen veterans at the National Cemetery in Bourne, MA.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 there are two events which the Red Cross will be participating.  At the West Roxbury VA, a barbecue will be held for all veterans and their families.  Also, there will be a Coffee Social at the Leeds VA where the Red Cross will be providing coffee and snacks to the veterans and their families.

Throughout the year we assist our veterans by linking military members during emergencies, connecting families with local community resources, providing resiliency training, supporting wounded warriors and military hospitals, and inviting the public to send holiday cards to service members through the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

Again we send a big thank you to our military service members and their families for keeping us safe!

 

Gain the Skills to Become a Better Nannie or Babysitter

American Red Cross of Massachusetts is now offering Advanced Child Care Training, a course for people 16 years and older who are or plan to become nannies, sought-after babysitters or who are caring for kids for the first time in a residential setting.  

A Red Cross survey taken in 2012 found that more than 80 percent of parents say they would pay more for a sitter who is trained in CPR, first aid and child care skills. The course is also a good option for grandparents and other relatives who might want a child care refresher before watching young children.

This course enables people to learn while having fun by blending tried-and-true information with digital learning techniques. Participants will learn the most common child care routines and behavior, along with safety inside and outside of the house. The course also includesPediatric First Aid, CPR and AED training and certification.

 

Other features of the training include:

  • 24/7 access to the self-paced, online training portion
  • Hands-on skills training and assessment
  • A resource center with downloadable skill sheets on child care subjects, lesson summaries, fact sheets, templates for résumés and business cards, administrative forms and age‐appropriate activity ideas.

Upcoming June classes will be held in Waltham, Peabody and Cambridge. The course is about 8 and-a-half hours long and costs $129. It combines two hours of self-paced online learning and six and-a-half hours of in-person training and skills testing. Upon completion, course takers will receive a two-year certification in both Advanced Child Care Training and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.  Advanced Child Care Training is not a licensing program and does not meet all state requirements for child care centers or day care providers.

Visit redcross.org/childcare for more information.

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