A Guide for a Fun and Safe Friendcation

Posted on Behalf of Emily DeChambeau,

 

In early spring I began planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard with a few of my nearest and dearest. We usually take a weekend or so each summer to spend some time on the isle but this summer we decided to up our game and hang for a full week. We’ll take any reason to head to MV but this trip was deemed very necessary on account of a few pals cross country moves looming ahead (they have since then moved and I’m still traumatized).  In honor of Red Cross vacation month I’m going to break down how you can plan and be prepared for your very own friendcation.

 

We were planning for optimal sun time regardless of whether it be while lounging on the beach or running amuck through the streets of downtown Oak Bluffs so a good sunscreen was a must. I suggest packing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Make sure to apply and reapply over your entire body especially during prime time sun hours between 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Apparently, people get sunburns on their feet these days which I have never experienced/never want to experience so when I say all over your body I mean all over. A good pair of sunglasses is also key. One of our first stops after we stumbled off the ferry was to the sun-glass shack. Grab something with UV protection and that will force people to do a double take because you look so beauteous. While you’re soaking up the sun don’t forget to keep hydrated. Supplement that mudslide with a water or two. For those who decide to not heed my advice (and undoubtedly encounter some kind of crisis as a consequence) make sure to at least have downloaded the Red Cross first aid app on your smartphone before jet setting from reality.

Red Cross First Aid App is Here to Help!

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Have you ever been in a situation where you or someone close to you received a minor injury and not known what to do? Personally I remember hiking with my friends in Vermont when one fell down and got a nasty scrape on his knee. Like smart, rational people, we had a first aid kit, but did not know what to do! Luckily, the Red Cross has recognized this growing need for basic first aid information and have created an easy to use, and free, mobile app for iPhone and Android users that offers expert, Red Cross, sanctioned advice for everyday disasters.

Once users download the app they have instant access to step-by-step instructions on how to handle the most common first aid situations, videos and animations that make important skills easy to learn, safety and preparedness tips for everyday situations, and quizzes that users can take to earn badges and share on social media! The app itself is very easy to navigate with clearly defined subsections at the bottom including preparation, emergencies, and even a helpful hospital locator!

As my experience with my friends in Vermont reminded me, accidents happen and you are not always with someone who is first aid trained and an unfortunate byproduct of accidents can be panic when you feel unprepared to handle the situation. The first aid app holds a few answers designed to make these mishaps more manageable and help you be prepared when life happens. In a world where technology continuously makes life easier, let the Red Cross help you with this and many more of its safety and weather apps.

Of course, no app could ever replace the full training offered by the Red Cross, to learn more about Red Cross first aid and other safety classes visit redcross.org/takeaclass today!

Grilling weather is here

On Monday and early morning Tuesday, more than 20 American Red Cross volunteers responded to seven fires and assisted 20 families.

Warmer weather is just about here, but that doesn’t mean we’re any safer from fires.  As people start cooking on the grill more often, the American Red Cross would like to remind everyone of these safety tips:

  • Always make sure the grill is supervised when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure people and pets stay away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools specially made for outdoor grills.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

Happy grilling!

-Kristen Catanzano

Red Cross offers brush fire safety tips

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The triple threat of warm weather, strong winds and dry leaves can leave Massachusetts very vulnerable to brush fires.

Here are a few tips to follow to reduce the risk of brush fires:

1) Burn brush only where permitted by your town or city. It’s important to pick a clear spot away from your home. All it takes is one strong wind to lead to a potential disaster.

2) Double and triple check your home’s gutters to ensure they are clear of flammable debris. Identify a reliable water source in the perimeter of your home in case of emergency.

3) Make a plan with your family and neighbors if necessary in the case a brush fire breaks out. Selecting a meeting spot and 2 or 3 evacuation routes will ensure your family and friends are prepared.

4) We love Emergency Preparedness Kits at the Red Cross and this is another great instance in which it would come in handy. Have a first aid kit ready along with bottled water, maps of the area, flashlight and nonperishable food.

Get in on the Pillowcase Project

Pillow Case ProjectThe American Red Cross and the Walt Disney Company are partnering to deliver disaster preparedness for 3rd to 5th graders with the Pillowcase Project.

The Pillowcase Project teaches children how to create their own emergency supplies kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase—a common household item—for easy transport during an emergency.

The Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter held the Massachusetts debut of the Pillowcase Project on March 7 with a class of nearly 20 children. The class learned how to prepare for emergencies, enhance coping skills and practice what they learned. The children had the opportunity to decorate and personalize pillowcases and were encouraged to share the preparedness skills they learned with their families and their communities.

Does your organization want to get involved? It’s easy! Contact lisa.ducharme@redcross.org and mary.nathan@redcross.org.

 

CPR classes offered in Amercian Sign Language

rco_blog_img_BlogLogoYou can still sign up for the Feb. 28 classes offered in ASL at the American Red Cross.

These classes will be offered at our Springfield office.

  • Adult/Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED on 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Offering ID is 02672088.  $110.00 per person.
  • Adult/Pediatric CPR/AED only – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.   Offering ID is 02671628.  $90.00 person.

Register by using redcross.org/takeaclass or calling 1-800-redcross.

Top Ten Valentine’s Day Tidbits from the Red Cross

Yes, it is back again- another Valentine’s Day for the books. If you’re like me (a complete procrastinator who also considers herself an extraordinary planner) you’re still struggling to think of that perfect gift for your special guy or girl. If you’re not like me and you’ve had the perfect restaurant, candies and romantic playlist picked out for weeks then you can get out of here. Just joking! Seal the deal on your already amazing plans or fill your open February 14 schedule with these “Top Ten Things to do with your Lover” ideas from the Red Cross (yes, I added with your lover).

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Who doesn’t love the selfless, sweet, caring guy who chooses to spend this special day donating his very own blood. You are touched by his compassionate soul and follow his lead. Now stick around and grab some cookies or head to that chocolate shop down the street to get rid of that slight feeling of light-headedness.

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Maybe you’ve just stepped into the powdery fluff floating from the sky or realized you and your date both share the same love of lady synchronizing swimming but you feel the moment and some smooching happens. Be careful people. It is F-L-U season. To ensure safe kissing practices check up on these tips to stay flu free.

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Ok, so you chose to stay in, cozy up to the fire (who doesn’t have a fireplace in their Bostonian apartment) and sip hot coco with Mr. or Mrs. Valentine this year. It’s great, you’re really enjoying the nice quiet night but feel like something is missing. Two words- Digital Fundraisers. Let’s get some productivity in your night. Then go back to the coco.

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Valentine’s didn’t go as planned. Your blind date was a L7 weenie. You’re back at home reliving the reality of his choice of the dreaded Hawaiian shirt and the seventh call with his mom when you just really need something besides your glass of chardonnay to turn that mood around. DING DING DING! Donate some of that money you would have spent on your second bottle of 2 buck chuck to the Red Cross (maybe more than 2 bucks though c’mon now).

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Dinner is on the table, Sinatra is asking luck to be a lady tonight, candles are lit and the door bell rings. Sparky leaps up out of his trance focused on the burnt t-bone you very kindly sacrificed an hour ago and brings the entire table down with him. Candles. On the ground. Flames. Date no more. Better luck next year in your new apartment. Don’t let this be your story by being prepared.

By the way, Sparky, #1 known dog name am I right?

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Let’s stray from the norm. No chocolates or fancy dinner reservations. You guys want to do something different. Why don’t you spend your day brushing up on your first aid and CPR skills in a Red Cross class? Now you not only have the certainty of your love for one another but you also know he won’t sit dumbfounded while the ring he masterfully baked into your slice of cake slips down your throat. Too graphic? Ya, take the class.

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Hit up the Red Cross store for a special Valentine Day gift. Nothing says I love you more than safety gear or a nice warm fleece… I’d take the fleece. They look comfy.

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Don’t let disaster strike on your special day. Hey, you didn’t know she was allergic to daisies or that this restaurant would make you feel like a piece of meat that’s on its eighth hour in the crock pot causing your pit stains to be on point. You didn’t have the foresight for that and that’s fine but you CAN be prepared for a different kind of disaster- a natural disaster.

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She’s the technological type. Always up to date on the newest ipod, ipad and every app to go with them. Impress her with the Red Cross app. Make her techy head spin with your intelligence and grace as you guide her through her very own first aid app.

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The couple who volunteers together stays together. It is just a known fact. Check up on volunteering opportunities around your local neighborhoods. Think about all the memories and experiences you can lovingly look back twenty years from now. Yes, volunteer = stay together. Forever.

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