Red Cross in the Nantucket Festival of Trees

American Red Cross Christmas Tree

American Red Cross Christmas Tree

The Red Cross made their mark with a beautifully designed tree at Nantucket’s Festival of Trees event this past November. Each year the Whaling Museum transforms into a magical winter wonderland full of decorated trees and wreaths to give us a little preview of what the upcoming holiday season will bring. Local merchants, nonprofit organizations, community members and school children decorated and designed more than 80 trees and wreaths. This year brought the same excitement and joy as any other and we are proud to have been able to be part of such a wonderful tradition.


Throwback Thursday: Snooze ya lose

Digging through the storage room one day, I discovered binders containing oodles of old photographs. From uniform fashion shows to group shots of the old Motor Corp volunteers, we’ve got tons of cool old photos that gave me a unique look into the organization’s past.

And then we have some other photos. The ones I can’t quite explain, but am all the more inclined to share. And thus, I bring it to you in our first of a new weekly series dubbed Throwback Thursday.

This week, we offer a Red Cross photo distributed by the Eastern Area chapter some time ago. It depicts the good ol’ “Flagellation Method.”

In the Early Ages, this method of striking a sleeping person with stinging nettles was considered helpful in waking them from a deep slumber. Later on, hands and wet clothes replaced the nettles. I imagine it was just as successful a method.

Nothing like a good whipping to start the day.

Helping Hollywood with their ‘natural’ disasters

Here at the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts we often apply our endless knowledge of being prepared for everything around us.  In this spirit I bring to you “Hollywood, Are You Red Cross Ready?” Here are the good, the bad, and the cheesey natural disaster movies that we critiqued to see what the characters would have done if they were really Red Cross Ready.

Dante’s Peak

Here, Pierce Brosnan and company set off on a perilous action-packed race against time to save some kids trying to save grandma from what appears to be quite a serious volcanic erruption. 

If the characters has known any Red Cross safety tips, they definitely would have done a few things different:

  • Foremost I just want to say…YOU DON’T ASCEND A VOLCANO WHEN ITS ERRUPTING!
  • Hot ash is very damaging to the eyes, the skin and most importantly the lungs. Wearing longsleeves, goggles, and a dust mask/wet cloth over your nose and mouth is essential when dealing with a volcanic erruption.
  • Never try to brave a river or stream when their is a volcanic erruption; mudflows can form very easily. 


As we see during this artful masterpeice of geological accuracy an earthquake strikes a city and everyone seems to do the worst thing possible when the earthquake hits.

For one please refrain from dirt bike jumps when an earthquake hits! If you are outside the best thing to do is find a clear area and lay on the ground.

  • A couple decides to roll under a car, which doesn’t seem to be a horrible idea actually, except if the car is flipped or there are downed powerlines.  The Red Cross suggests that you get in the car, buckle up, and wait out the shaking.
  • Please, do not make the mistake these people do and get in an elevator when the earth is shaking around you.

Have other disaster movie suggestions that may not have the safest examples? Let us know!

FAST FACTS: Thunder and lightning

According to the experts at the National Severe Storms Survey lightning is a gigantic electrostatic discharge (the same kind of electricity that can shock you when you touch a doorknob) between the cloud and the ground, other clouds, or within a cloud. Thunder, on the other hand is the sound caused by rapidly expanding gases along a channel of lightning discharge. Energy from lightning heats the air to around 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes a rapid expansion of the air, creating a sound wave heard as thunder

Thunderstorms are commonplace for lightning but did you know that lightning can form without any sort of precipitation at all? Well it can, and is called “dry lightning” and is one of the leading causes of wildfires.

If you are caught outside during a storm, follow these Red Cross safety tips:

  • Try to reach a safe building.
  • Avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.
  • Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!
  • Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • If you hear thunder, lightning can hit you. It can hit from as far as 10 miles away in open areas.

If someone has been struck call 9-1-1 immediately and begin CPR (don’t worry they won’t still carry a charge and cannot hurt you if you touch them).

A common occurrence with thunderstorms are power outages.  Power outages may be a nuisance but if handled poorly can lead to illness from spoiled food.  The Red Cross suggests to throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!

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