Let’s Sound the Alarm Together

The fact is most fire deaths are preventable. Yet, seven people perish in fires across the country every single day. One major tool for prevention is a working smoke alarm. Together, to help reduce home fire deaths and injuries, volunteers and partners across the country along with the American Red Cross will participate in the Sound the Alarm campaign.

36071126730_83faf5f12d_z-2.jpgBetween September 23rd – October 15th, the American Red Cross will install over 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 high-risk neighborhoods nationwide.  During this time, the Red Cross will also install its one-millionth smoke alarm.  WOW! This number includes at least 1,500 of those alarms being installed in the Wisconsin Region.

Last fall, the Red Cross along with participating fire stations installed more than 800 alarms in Brown County.  However, this year we are focusing on areas with higher rates of home fires which includes Milwaukee & Dane County.  Additional smaller smoke alarm installations are also being hosted around the state.

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The fire aftermath that devastated Kevin & Elizabeth Brown’s home but whose family was saved by working smoke alarms!

Smoke alarms save our lives! Kevin & Elizabeth Brown, along with their 5-year old son, escaped a burning mobile home thanks to smoke alarms installed by the Red Cross in a partnership with the Janesville Fire Department.  See more photos here.

 

Already smoke alarms have saved 268 lives in the nation including three in Janesville, Wisconsin.  So we are asking for your support on these up-coming Sound the Alarm events! Join Us!

Saturday, September 23rd Milwaukee, WI
October 5-7th, Superior, WI
Saturday, October 7th Madison, WI

“Each time we install alarms, we know lives are safer. Being part of the million-alarm milestone highlights our mission to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.” Patty Flowers, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Wisconsin Region.

If you are unable to volunteer to help install free smoke alarms in your local communities you can also participate by fundraising to support the Sound the Alarm program. Learn more here.

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Summer Safety Tips for your Furry Friends

By Melissa Sears, American Red Cross Volunteer & Animal Lover

It’s hard to resist those beautiful 80 degree weather days when the sun is out, skies are clear & it’s the perfect time to take your playful pooch to the dog park. After a long week indoors at work, it can be tempting to play catch outside for hours with Michael Bark Jordan, bring your furry companion camping for the weekend or enjoy a local pet-friendly outdoor festival. Even if you don’t have your little fur ball of joy with you, keeping them in mind while you’re out for the entire day is important for their safety.

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It’s important to know the where, when & how pets are likely to overheat.  If your pet stays at home, try keeping a fan or two on in the house, brush them often or take them to a pet groomer to get a shave.  There are even cool, tasty treats you can make your cats & dogs since you can’t share your popsicle or ice cream with your fur-child. Know how to be aware of the signs & what to do with your pet during the summer time with some of these Summer Pet Safety Tips:

● Age, weight & breed of your pet can cause them overheat easier. Pets that are
very young, old, overweight or don’t get enough exercise are more susceptible to
heat stroke as well as certain dog breeds like boxers and pugs are prone to overheat.

● Physical signs of overheating & heat stroke include: heavy panting, glazed eyes,
rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of
coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and
unconsciousness.

● Your pet should have equal parts sun & shade during hot, humid days. Make sure they get plenty water during summer activities.  Tip: Buy a collapsible travel water bowl that you can bring with you to a restaurant, festival or even on a run at the park.

● Be able to treat your pet if you suspect heat stroke. Learn more here.

Download the Pet First Aid app on Apple or Android phones for mobile access when you’re on-the-go because when something happens & you need to know what to do in the moment it’s helpful to have pet emergency support available on-hand.

Flood Relief Touted by Top State Leader

Surrounded by American Red Cross responders, corporate leaders and Wisconsin’s Governor, Scott Walker, Patty Flowers kicked-off a news conference to highlight flood relief efforts. She also issued a call to action for people to get involved by preparing for emergencies, donating their time as a blood donor, becoming a disaster responder in your own communities, of which the training is free, and by making a financial gift to support the ongoing relief efforts.

From left to right: Rebecca Fitzgerald (Johnson Controls Inc.), Patty Flowers (Red Cross Regional CEO), Laura Timm (Briggs & Stratton), Mary Lou Young (United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha), Governor Scott Walker, Jim Ladwig (SC Johnson), Tami Garrison (MillerCoors), Lisa Nelson (Walmart)

The Wisconsin region of the Red Cross responds to nearly 900 disasters annually and the recent 20-county flood counts as just one disaster. Overall, 90% of the Red Cross workforce is volunteer including the board of directors. Disaster teams have provided the following services during the flooding:

  • Opened and operated 10 shelters
  • Supported four Multi-agency Resource Centers
  • Distributed 9,360 relief items
  • Served more than 4,000 meals and snacks
  • Provided more than 250 health and mental health contacts.

In addition, the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 is open 24 hours a day for anyone who has been affected by the flood and may need additional emotional support.

Governor Walker shared that when he travels the state to disaster areas, he is always comforted knowing Red Cross responders are there.

All disaster assistance is free as it is a gift from the American people. All financial donations, large and small, make a tremendous impact as 91 cents of every dollar goes directly into programs and services. A $25 dollar donation provides a household with valuable clean-up supplies after a flood, while $200 covers the cost for a family of four to stay in a shelter, provide three meals, personal hygiene items and resources to begin recovery.

Business leaders joining in the news conference included Jim Ladwig, Director Global Community Affairs from SC Johnson who presented the Red Cross with a $100,000 check for disaster relief. Lisa Nelson from the Walmart Corporation also presented a $50,000 check — $25,000 of which will benefit the Wisconsin relief and $25,000 of which will support the Illinois response efforts. Four other Wisconsin companies made gifts of $10,000+ to help with the recent floods– Associated Bank, Logistics Health, Gold’n Plump and We Energies. With these donations, almost half the flooding expenses will be covered.

From left to right: Patty Flowers (Red Cross Regional CEO), Governor Scott Walker, Jim Ladwig (SC Johnson)

The Red Cross thanks its partners in the Annual Disaster Giving Program and Disaster Responder program who contribute $250,000 or more annually to ensure Red Cross has funds to support disaster relief: Johnson Controls, Kohl’s, Northwestern Mutual, Rayovac and SC Johnson.

The Red Cross is grateful to many corporate and community partners who donated goods, space and time to help reduce costs of the response.

With almost 900 disasters around the state each year, the fundraising needs are great so people can always count on the Red Cross during disasters.

You can help people affected by disasters like the recent floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Checks can be sent to the Milwaukee office at 2600 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Historic Wisconsin Flooding; Heroic Red Cross Response

By Amber Finley, American Red Cross

Early morning, on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Southeastern Wisconsin residents woke to rain waters filling their homes. A few days later, Mother Nature struck again; creating flash floods in the Southwestern part of the state, leaving residents and communities devastated with the worst flooding in Wisconsin since 2008. Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergencies for all 17 counties within a week.

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With neighbors looking to begin the clean-up and recovery process, the American Red Cross came in full-force to assist in the efforts.  In all, 10 shelters were opened and neighbors were invited to use the Red Cross facilities to shower, eat a meal, stay overnight, receive minor medical attention and, most of all, a compassionate shoulder to lean on was available 24/7.

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To assist individuals in getting on their feet, more than 2,000 flood victims were provided with clean-ups kits filled with necessary items, such as mops, gloves, bleach, all-purpose cleaners, and masks, to begin the clean-up process. The Red Cross also provided more than 5,500 people with essential bulk items like bottled (canned) water; courtesy of Miller Coors, bug spray donated by SC Johnson, and even a warehouse and forklift from Kwik Trip provided a receiving location for the many trucks arriving from the St. Louis warehouse.

The Red Cross also coordinated with community partners such as the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, WE Energies, Aurora Health Care, and state health services by opening three Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC). The Red Cross MARC’s provided flood victims with a ‘one-stop shop’ to meet with partnering agencies to secure assistance for their long-term recovery.

For an elderly woman, fighting leukemia, Colleen Manderfeld’s nightmare was true as her sump pump failed and her hobby room was full of murky water. Colleen and her two sons began the cleaning process but were soon over-whelmed. Having seen the Red Cross on television she attended the MARC and asked about what assistance may be available.

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Colleen Manderfeld with trained Red Cross Volunteer, Laurel Cooper

Because of her illness, any growth of mold or risk of getting sick can be detrimental to her health. Via collaborative efforts, she received cleaning supplies, bleach, vital information and our community partner Samaritan’s Purse will be visiting Colleen’s home to remove damage from the flooding, as well as thoroughly clean, to eliminate the risk of mold. By having multiple resources available to the flood victims, the road to long-term recovery is shortened. “Colleen had a remarkable sense of personal pride and a positive attitude which she learned from her mother. It takes an even bigger person to ask for help.” shares Amber Finley, a disaster responder. “A hug, a meal, financial support and all the little things we could do to show them it was going to be O.K. was what today was about.”

 

The Red Cross is driven by local volunteers who give of their time, talent and treasure to ensure each disaster victim is supported.

Red Cross continues to provide support in Southeast Wisconsin

The American Red Cross continues to provide assistance to Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth County residents after being hit with severe flooding.  Red Cross, with partnering agencies, opened three Multi-Agency Resource Centers where residents were assisted with immediate disaster recovery needs.

To date, the Red Cross has:

  • served 480 clients
  • provided 493 meals
  • distribution 1,689 clean-up kits
  • served 1,748 snacks
  • provided clients with 4,315 bulk items, such as bleach, gloves, and garbage bags

The Red Cross work continues in the Kenosha, Racine and Walworth communities and throughout Western Wisconsin.

If you affected by the storms and have questions or immediate needs, please call 414-345-8678.

How you can help

The Red Cross and the communities it serves rely on local volunteers to provide humanitarian relief during times of disaster. You can become a Red Cross volunteer in your community when disaster strikes. To learn more, visit redcross.org/wisconsin.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation’s blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. The Wisconsin Region serves 5.8 million people across Wisconsin and Houston County Minnesota.  For more information, please visit redcross.org, follow our statewide blog at redcrosswisnews.org and follow us on Twitter @redcrosswis

The Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross responds to nearly 900 disasters a year. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Click redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Wisconsin Region, 2600 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233

 

Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy to Participate in Dancing with Our Stars Finale

The 10th and final edition of the American Red Cross Dancing with Our Stars (aka DWOS) event, which will be a two-night extravaganza in late February, will feature appearances by professional ballroom dancers Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy thanks to a sponsorship by Jack’s Maintenance. Billed as “ Dancing with Our Stars 2018: All – Star Edition , presented by the Schneider Foundation ”, local community members who participated in previous years are returning to once again be Star Dancers. Peta and Maks will serve as celebrity judges for the Saturday, February 24, 2018 ballroom dance show. They will also make an appearance at a Disco-themed Dance Party fundraiser the night before. Both events will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. People in attendance will receive the chance to win personal experiences with Peta and Maks including the opportunity to dance with them.

While this is the first time Maks will be part of DWOS, it marks Peta’s third appearance as she previously participated in 2014 and 2015. Murgatroyd is well known for teaming with Green Bay Packers legend Donald Driver to win Season 14 of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

People interested in purchasing tickets should send an email to: redcrossdwos@gmail.com.

The goal of this final DWOS campaign is to raise $600,000. In its nine-year history, DWOS has raised more than $2 million. These are the DWOS alumni lacing up their ballroom dancing shoes one more time:

  • Anna Allen
  • Chelsea Anderson
  • Billi Jo Baneck
  • Keith Cronin
  • Kati Donaho
  • Mary Gronnert
  • Tracy Lemsky
  • Emily Matesic
  • Zeb Metzler
  • Bill McGlin
  • Pam Niles
  • Lisa Pritzl
  • Adam Rockman
  • Stacy Stecker
  • Dan Terrio
  • Jody Weyers
  • Marty Williams
  • Kelly Wolff

Paul Kardish of Schneider is also joining the team, taking the place of Chris Lofgren who participated in DWOS 2014.

All funds raised support disaster prevention, preparation and relief, the life-saving training of first aid, CPR/AED classes, collection and testing of blood and blood products, support to military members serving around the globe and international programs.

More event details can be found on the following Red Cross platforms:

Donation page: https://www.crowdrise.com/redcrossallstars

Dancing with Our Stars blog: http://redcrossdwosblog.org

Facebook All-Star Page:  https://www.facebook.com/RedCrossAllStars/

Twitter: @redcrosswis

Use #RedCrossAllStars and #DWOS18 to join the conversation on social media!

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Tornados Deliver Harsh Message To Shawano County

By Marilyn Janke, America Red Cross volunteer

The meteorologist said they were small tornados but the families impacted by them saw them as big ones!

Three tornados touched down in Shawano shawanotornado3County on Wednesday, June 14th leaving numerous outbuildings flattened and one mobile home completely destroyed. The Red Cross responded within hours to set up a reception area for those who might need the respite, sent out people to contact those affected from the storm and alleviated the worry of a resident facing storm damage caused by water cascading into her living room.

On a local farm, the farmer’s adult son was in one of the sheds, when the tornado swooped down with little warning but with its usual roar. All he could do, was grab a chair, surround himself with bales of hay and if the story holds true, lit a cigarette and waited for his demise. He calmly faced the inevitable that turned out to be only the loss of a large shed and not his life. The experience kept everything in perspective.

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Interestingly, a small pencil size piece of wood was hammered into a tree without splintering. It was one of those pictures that one hears about but never quite believes.

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The long time farmer is now a believer in weird happenings like this. The squawking of peacocks from the side field indicated that their birds were still strutting their stuff. On further inspection it appeared that they were minus a couple of the feathered friends. Strong winds hit and they just flew the coop.

The mobile home did not fare well and was totally destroyed leaving the resident without her home.  The anxiety, grief and uncertainty appeared to be etched in her face. With the support of family and friends, she was literally picking up the pieces. Neither her horse was touched nor was his stable damaged. However, within feet of that was the flattened home. She was carefully going through the debris to find anything that might be usable in the future. The Red Cross provided the chance for her to garner comfort, an idea of what to do next and reassurances that this was in so many ways fixable.

shawanotornado5.jpgThe quiet comfort she gave to this tornado victim was both needed and priceless. While the storm covered a path that left people in the wrong place at the wrong time, the Red Cross was definitely there at just the right time.

 

If you would like to join the dynamic team of disaster responders, please visit redcross.org/volunteer to begin your journey.

Shawano County Twister Photos