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Tag Archive | "American Red Cross"

American Red Cross issues new Pet First Aid App


App helps dog and cat owners provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available 

HEA-Red-Cross-PeticonPets are an important part of many families, and a new Red Cross Pet First Aid App puts lifesaving information right in the hands of dog and cat owners so they can provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available.

The 99-cent Pet First Aid app gives iPhone and Android smart phone users instant access to expert information so they learn how to maintain their pet’s health and what to do during emergencies.

“Pet owners learn how to recognize health problems and when to contact their veterinarian,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. “The Pet First Aid App provides step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations including how to treat wounds, control bleeding, and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies.”

Additional topics include burns, car accidents, falls and what to do for cold and heat related emergencies.

Other features in the app allow pet owners to:

Create a pet profile including tag identification number, photos, list of medications and instructions.

Use the list of early warning signs to learn when to call their veterinarian.

Use “click-to-call” to contact their veterinarian.

Find emergency pet care facilities or alternate veterinarians with the “animal hospital locator.”

Locate pet-friendly hotels.

Test their knowledge with interactive quizzes and earn badges that they can share on their social networks along with their favorite picture of their pet.

History shows that people have not evacuated during disasters because they did not want to leave their pets behind. The Red Cross app contains resources to help owners include pets in their emergency action plans. Pet owners may also take a Red Cross Pet First Aid course so they can practice the skills and receive feedback. People can go to redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

The Red Cross has made great strides in making emergency information available whenever and wherever people need it. The Pet First Aid App and other Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

 

Posted in HealthComments Off

Red Cross safety tips to prevent home holiday fires


The American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions with cooking and decorating around the holidays.

“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and as people are cooking and entertaining this holiday season, we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure that their homes and loved ones are safe from the threat of fire,” said Chip Kragt, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan.

Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and Thanksgiving are the top three days for cooking fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster on average every eight minutes, and the vast majority of them are home fires. The Red Cross has some simple steps everyone can follow to prevent home fires around the holidays:

Holiday Entertaining 

Test your smoke alarms.

Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.

Enforce a “kid-free zone” in cooking areas. Keep children at least three feet away from the stove.

Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove, oven or any appliance that generates heat.

Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.

Holiday Decorating 

Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.

Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.

Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect. Some strings of lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.

Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

People should also download the free American Red Cross First Aid app, which provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

People can test their knowledge on how to prevent home fires by taking the Fire Safety Quiz, and can learn more about fire prevention by visiting redcross.org.

 

Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off

Red Cross Kicks Off Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign


 

The American Red Cross launched its annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program on Monday, September 30. The Red Cross invites residents of West Michigan to express their appreciation to service members, veterans, and their families by sending them holiday cards filled with messages of gratitude and support.

This is the seventh year for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Last year, more than 1.8 million cards were distributed to the troops and their families as a part of the annual Holiday Campaign. For more than 130 years, the Red Cross has provided comfort and support to members of the United States military.

“This is a great way for people to give something that means something this holiday season,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the Red Cross of West Michigan. “The Red Cross helps millions of service members each year and this program gives our communities an opportunity to offer their support as well.”

To take part in the program, those interested can send their notes of thanks and holiday cheer to the following address by December 6, 2013:

Holiday Mail for Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country. For a detailed list of what will and will not be accepted, see the Card Guidelines.

For more information on how to give, get

trained or get involved with the American Red Cross, visit: redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

 

Holiday card for heroes guidelines

 

Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

• Ensure that all cards are signed.

• Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.

• Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.

• Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.

• Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

• Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.

• If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

 

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments Off

Safety tips for Labor Day weekend


OUT-Red-Cross-logoFrom the American Red Cross

 

Many people view Labor Day as the end of summer and their last chance to travel, hit the beach, and fire up the grill. The American Red Cross offers safety tips to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

“While many people will spend the Labor Day weekend traveling and spending time with family and friends, no one should take a vacation from safety,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. “It’s still important that people work to remain vigilant on the road, at the beach, and at cookouts.”

Tips for Safe Travel 

Carry an emergency supply kit in your trunk.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

Buckle up and observe speed limits.

Don’t drink and drive.

Tips for Safe Swimming 

Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.

Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.

Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.

Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Tips for Safe Grilling 

Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Keep children and pets away from the grill.

Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

The American Red Cross First Aid App for smart phones and tablets provides users with expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores and at redcross.org/mobileapps.

For more information on emergency preparedness, go to redcross.org. Additional water safety tips are located at redcross.org/watersafety.

Posted in NewsComments Off

Safety training for sports activities


OUT-Red-Cross-logoFrom the American Red Cross

Back to school also means back to practice for thousands of student athletes and coaches. The American Red Cross has training and resources available for people to learn how to treat a variety of emergencies and injuries that may occur throughout the sports season.

“School and neighborhood coaches, athletes and spectators should know how to help prevent and respond to common sports injuries such as strains and sprains, fractures, cuts and concussions,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan.

Safe Kids Worldwide reports that every 25 seconds a child is hurt playing sports and that more than 1 million emergency room visits are made due to sports injuries each year. Sports injuries account for about 20 percent of all injury-related emergency room visits for young people, according to their study.

Red Cross has developed a number of resources for everyone involved in sports and recreational activities:

First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches is an online program for teens and adults who coach at any age level. Developed with the National Federation of State High School Associations, this course covers first aid skills including breathing emergencies and injuries to muscles, bones and joints. Coaches are encouraged to take a CPR/AED course as well.

Family First Aid and CPR is an online course for those not required to have OSHA-compliant certification. Participants learn how to treat cardiac, breathing and first aid emergencies until help arrives. Pediatric modules are also available.

American Red Cross First Aid App is a free app for smart phones and tablets. It gives users instant access to information on how to handle the most common first aid situations.

Information on courses and additional resources are available at redcross.org. A variety of Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross, or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

“Heat can be especially hazardous to anyone exercising or playing outdoors this time of year. People should avoid scheduling workouts and exercise during the hottest times of the day,” added Hudson. “Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.”

For more information on how to give, get trained or get involved with the American Red Cross, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Posted in Back to School, Outdoors, SportsComments Off

Stay safe as temperatures rise


From the American Red Cross

 

Summer is here, brining with it dangerous, excessive heat. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe as the temperatures soar.

“Excessive heat can be deadly; it has caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather events,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the Red Cross of West Michigan. “We want everyone to stay safe during the hot weather and share important tips for when the weather is hot and humid.

NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN THE CAR. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:

*Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

*Avoid extreme temperature changes.

*Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

*Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

*Postpone outdoor games and activities.

*Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

*Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

*Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.

*If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

HEAT STROKE IS LIFE-THREATENING. Signs include hot, red skin that may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit redcross.org, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or download the free Red Cross First Aid. The app is available for iPhone and Android smart phone and tablet users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

 

Posted in HealthComments Off

Scammers capitalizing on tornado victims


From the Better Business Bureau

The Salvation Army released the following warning:

We received word from one of our National Advisory Board members about a robo-call from an organization (no name given) mounting an emergency appeal for funds for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma. The pitch included specific reference to American Red Cross and Salvation Army, with text along the lines of “The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are on site working, and we need more funds to keep help coming.” There was an option to press 1 to donate. The call came from phone number 888-981-6499.

Please be advised that this is NOT authorized fundraising of either The Salvation Army or the American Red Cross.  We ask that you please warn your territories and/or Board Members about this scam.”

BBB Serving Western Michigan offers the following basic wise giving tips:

1. Get the Charity’s exact name. With so many charities in existence, mistaken identity is a common problem. Thousands of charities have “cancer” in their name, for example, but no connection with one another.

2. Resist pressure to give on the spot, whether from a telemarketer, door-to-door solicitor or telephone call.

3. Be wary of heart-wrenching appeals. What matters is what the charity is doing to help.

4. Press for specifics. If the charity says it’s helping the homeless, for example, ask how and where it’s working.

5. Check websites for basics. A charity’s mission, program and finances should be available on its site. If not, check for a report at www.give.org.

6. Check with state charity officials. In many states, charities are required to register, usually with the office of the attorney general, before soliciting. Check http://www.nasconet.org/documents/u-s-charity-offices/ for the relevant office in your state.

7. Don’t assume that every soliciting organization is tax exempt as a charity. You can readily check an organization’s tax status at www.irs.gov/app/eos.

 

 

Posted in NewsComments Off

Urgent need for blood and platelet donors


The Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross needs to collect approximately 700 units of blood each and every day. However, not nearly enough people are giving blood. Local supplies are insufficient to meet the needs of our community’s hospitals in a timely manner.  There is also an immediate need for platelets, a blood component used to treat cancer patients, for example.
Although the local Red Cross is intensifying phone calls, e-mails and direct mail to blood and platelet donors, the response is still not sufficient to meet current needs.
Anyone who is eligible to donate blood or platelets is asked to do so as soon as possible.  For those who have never donated, or have not donated in a while, now is the time to try.
To get as many donations as possible with the greatest efficiency, Red Cross officials are asking eligible blood and platelet donors to make appointments or to keep the appointments they have already made.
To help, visit Redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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