Red Cross Sends Help After Deadly Tornadoes Blast Through the South

Disaster workers, meals, equipment and blood headed to area hardest hit. 

WASHINGTON, Thursday, April 28, 2011 — The American Red Cross is helping thousands of people after Wednesday’s deadly tornadoes destroyed neighborhoods throughout the southern region of the country.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who lost loved ones or have suffered through these deadly storms,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “Red Cross disaster teams are working around the clock to help the thousands of people whose lives are turned upside down. More Red Cross assistance is on the way.”

“Our top priority right now is to provide food and shelter to the thousands of people throughout the South and Midwest affected by these storms,” Shimanski said, adding that the Red Cross is also distributing relief supplies and providing emotional support and basic health services to disaster survivors.

Hardest hit was Alabama, where Governor Robert Bentley has activated National Guard troops to help in the devastated areas. The Red Cross is sending disaster workers, materials, blood products and equipment into the state. Nearly 40 emergency response vehicles are on the way, along with 25,000 ready-to-eat meals. Red Cross Blood Services is moving hundreds of blood products into the area, and Red Cross nurses and mental health workers are being deployed to help people cope with the aftermath of this disaster.

American Red Cross Responds to Severe Spring Weather

More than 1,600 people sought refuge in 65 Red Cross shelters Wednesday night as the storms forced them from their homes. Red Cross shelters are open in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina and Texas.

“Tornadoes and floods have devastated communities and uprooted families across many states, and the Red Cross is working hand-in-hand with our federal and community partners to get assistance to people in need and help them recover,” Shimanski said.

More than half of the country has been affected by this continuous band of damaging weather, disrupting people’s lives from North Dakota to the East Coast. In the last several weeks, Red Cross disaster workers have provided thousands of overnight stays in shelters, distributed thousands of clean-up and comfort kits and served hundreds of thousands of meals and snacks.

The Red Cross is able to respond quickly when emergencies happen with the help of corporations who are members of the organization’s Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). ADGP members pledge donations on an ongoing basis to allow the Red Cross to pre-position supplies and be ready to take immediate action when disasters occur.

ADGP members include Walmart, UPS, UnitedHealthcare, The TJX Companies, Inc., Target, State Street Foundation, State Farm, Southwest Airlines, Ryder Charitable Foundation, Northrup Grumman, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Morgan Stanley, Merck, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; Kraft Foods; Kimberly-Clark Corporation, John Deere Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, GE Foundation, FedEx Corporation, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Darden Restaurants, Inc, ConAgra Foods, Cisco Foundation, Aon, Altria and 3M.

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster, both here in the United States and around the world. Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. To make a donation, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; 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 mission. 

Fond du Lac Fire Department Brat Fry to Support the Red Cross

The City of Fond du Lac Fire Department will be hosting their annual Brat Fry on April 29, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. 

The Red Cross relies on this brat fry to provide funding toward their mission of assisting the Fond du Lac community in times of need. This event is the largest fundraising effort the Red Cross is involved with throughout the year and the Fond du Lac Fire Department is proud to be associated with this cause.

Home fires are the most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to and also the most preventable.  Families need to take a few simple precautions to avoid tragedies, such as having working smoke alarms on every level of their homes and having family fire escape plans in place to help get everyone out of the house safely.

The Red Cross provides assistance not only to the families involved in fires and other tragedies, but also assists the City of Fond du Lac Fire Department by providing food and beverages to firefighters at emergency scenes.

The American Red Cross, through volunteers, helps prepare communities for emergencies and keep people safe every day thanks to caring people who support them.

You have the power to make a difference in someone’s life. Have lunch on April 29th at the fire department. Every donation helps provide services to those in need. When disaster strikes, your contributions can help bring comfort to those in distress. 

To pre-order, please call the Main Street Fire Station’s non-emergency number at 322-3800 by 9 a.m. on April 29th.

Delivery is available for orders over 20 items or you can choose to use the easy and convenient drive-thru service located in the front parking lot of the fire station at 815 S. Main St.

Hamburgers and brats $2.50 each.

American Red Cross Receives Grant from Cornerstone Foundation of Northeast Wisconsin to Support Services to Armed Forces

The American Red Cross is honored to have received a grant from the Cornerstone Foundation of Northeastern Wisconsin to support Services to Armed Forces.

The Military Relief Grant will support delivery of emergency messages to services members far from home and establish a relief fund.  The activated military person and their direct family can apply for direct aid.

Brown Countyhas community-based military members.  They are without the benefits and support of being on a military base where there are reduced costs or free services for active service military members. When reservists are on active duty they receive military pay that does not replace civilian income.  The reduction of income from civilian pay to military pay can result in financial hardship on military families. 

This grant establishes a relief fund that Brown County community-based military families can apply to for emergency help. This relief fund is for non re-occurring emergency help for families who are on active duty now or have been on active duty within the past 24 months prior to applying. The hardship must be primarily due to deployment or active military service. 

“The financial pressure faced by members of our military and their families just compounds the strain that overseas deployments present,” said Judy Gregory, Emergency Services Director, American Red Cross. “The Military Relief Grant can assist these families in paying for those unexpected expenses.”

The fund can be used for help with utility bills, rent/mortgage payments, security deposits, daycare assistance, food, and/or outstanding medical or dental bills.

Applications will be accepted starting May 1, 2011. All applications received will go to a review committee for final approval and allocation.

For more information or to request an application for assistance please call Judy Gregory, Emergency Services Director for the American Red Cross at 920-227-4281 or

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; 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 mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Barbara Behling Shares her Red Cross Deployment Experience

By Barbara Behling, regional community development officer for the Amercan Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin

Flag flies at Lowes store in Sanford.N.C. Amazing no one was hurt.

On Sunday, April 17th I was deployed to support North Carolina as a string of deadly tornadoes had ravaged the state. As a member of the Advanced Public Affairs Team, we are responsible for the early communications between local communities, affected chapters, emergency management and national media.

This disaster presented several challenges. No mercy was shown on several counties; more than twenty people were killed, hundreds of home destroyed, thousands damaged, and the scope of involvement from all partners (Red Cross, FEMA, Southern Baptist, Search & Rescue, Salvation Army, Tide Loads of Hope, etc) was immense.

More than a dozen shelters were established for temporary housing. In each, we coordinated “I’m safe and well” messages to families frantically searching for their loved ones. We provided a warm place to sleep, showers, hot food, snack, activities for the kids (this included an Easter Basket delivery made by local school group, with financial support from a local business). Most of all, we provided a respite of silence, support and hope.

My two favorite “safe and well” connections were regarding a 91-year old grandmother and her family out of state. On an even larger scale, we reconnected a military family near Fort Bragg with her deployed husband in Kuwait via assistance from their Puerto Rican family and the Puerto Rican Red Cross.

Our Counseling teams were working one-on-one with families who lost a loved one in the storms. They listened, supported funeral arrangements, encouraged the grieving process to continue, they cried and hugged each family member left behind. 

In neighborhoods, our damage assessment teams were recording the storms carnage so that we could provide additional financial assistance to storm victims. Each families needs are different and through the client casework process, we listened, documented and supported emergency basic needs.

Partnerships which were well established and those that “popped-out” of the blue were heart-warming. The Tides Loads of Hope cloth washing service was activated in two communities. The Southern Baptists were cooking food and our emergency vehicles delivered it door-to-door. The media was consummate partner, they ran stories of where people could stay, what emergency numbers to call, hosted telethons and more.

While Mother Nature wrath of destruction was at her worst. The people of North Carolina were at their best. It’s this collective spirit that will prevail.

Going Head to Head for the American Red Cross; Still Time to Vote!

Join us as part of the Heroes for the American Red Cross campaign, area stylists are competing in Going Head to Head for the American Red Cross to be the top fundraiser while helping to raise awareness of the services provided by your LOCAL chapter.

From April 1st thru April 30th, for every $1 donated 1 vote will be tallied.  Donations benefit the Scenic Shores Chapter, serving Calumet, Manitowoc and Shegboygan counties.

For more information contact Cindy Vana at 920-684-6601 or  or click HERE

Participating Salons & Barbershops: 
  • Hot Heads – Brillion
  • Image by Design – Kiel
  • Madison Style – Chilton
  • A Cut Above – Two Rivers
  • Creative Touch – Two Rivers
  • Crew’s Corner Barbershop – Manitowoc
  • GJ’s Salon ‘N Spa – Two Rivers
  • J Pennae & Associates – Manitowoc
  • Lords ‘N Ladies – Manitowoc
  • Rose Colored Glasses – Manitowoc
  • Southside Barbershop – Manitowoc
  • Twisted Scissors – Manitowoc
  • All Dolled Up / All Suited Up Salon & Spa – Plymouth
  • Beauty Within Hair, Nails & Tanning – Plymouth
  • BELLE AMI Salon & Spa – Elkhart Lake
  • Entourage Salon & Spa – Sheboygan
  • Falls Salon & Spa – Sheboygan Falls
  • Hair Graphics Salon & Day Spa – Sheboygan Falls
  • Michelle’s Shear Cuts Barber Shop – Random Lake
  • NOW & ZEN Hair Industries – Sheboygan
  • Salon at Sports Core – Kohler
  • Salon Shibui – Sheboygan
  • Shavers Stylists – Sheboygan
  • Shear Imagination – Cedar Grove
  • Styles on Broadway – Sheboygan
  • Tangles Hair Salon – Plymouth


April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and the American Red Cross offers tips to the millions of pet owners as a way to keep their animals safe and healthy, especially as warm weather approaches.

Many Red Cross chapters across the country offer Pet First Aid courses. The Red Cross has also developed Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Guides with DVDs to help you care for your pet. From basic responsibilities like spaying/neutering and giving medications, to performing CPR and preparing for disasters, these guides provide the information pet owners need to keep their pets healthy and safe. The guides are available through your local Red Cross chapter or you can visit the Red Cross Store.


DATE: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TIME: 6:00pm-10:00pm

PLACE: American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter, 2131 Deckner Ave, Green Bay

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Skaletski

TO REGISTER: Call the Health and Safety Department at 920-227-4290

COST: $35.00

The National Pet Owners Survey compiled by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association points out that 39 percent of households in the United States own at least one dog and 33 percent own at least one cat. “Warmer weather can bring certain dangers for pets,” says Dr. Deborah Mandell, Pet Safety Advisor for the Red Cross. Mandell reminds pet owners to “Know what is normal for your pet – gum color, heart and pulse rate, body temperature, breathing rate – so you can recognize when something is wrong.”

One of the most common problems pets face in the warmer weather is heat stroke. This is because they are not yet acclimated to the warm temperatures. Some signs of heat stroke include heavy panting and being unable to calm down, even when lying down. The pet’s gum color may be brick red, their pulse rate may be fast, or they may not be able to get up. If someone suspects their pet has heat stroke, take the pet’s temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees. Bring the pet to the veterinarian immediately as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.

Mandell says that the inside of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees during the warm weather months. Pet owners should not leave their furry friends in the car, even for short trips. This can quickly lead to heatstroke.

At this time of year, windows and doors in the home are more likely to be open. Pet owners should know that animals may try to get outside which increases the risk of trauma from jumping or falling from windows or being hit by vehicles. Some plants and flowers can be hazardous. For instance, many lilies are very poisonous to cats. Visit the ASPCA Poison Control web site to find out which plants and flowers are poisonous to animals. If someone thinks their animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, they should contact their veterinarian.

Pet owners can follow these important steps to help keep their pet healthy:

  • Give pets plenty of exercise
  • Make sure pets have plenty of fresh, cool water
  • Make sure pets get regular yearly checkups with their veterinarian, and are up to date on vaccines, especially rabies
  • Get pets spayed or neutered
  • Keep dogs on leashes outside – another animal may be too much temptation
  • Know how to perform CPR and provide basic first aid until veterinary care is available

Don’t forget to include pets in emergency plans as well:

  • Plan to take pets along if ordered to evacuate.
  • Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Know which friends, relatives, hotels, boarding facilities accept pets in an emergency.
  • Assemble a portable kit with emergency supplies for pets:
    • Leashes, harnesses and/or carriers
    • Food, drinking water, bowls, manual can opener
    • Medications and copies of medical records
    • Current photos of the pets

The Red Cross hopes pets and their owners have a great spring and summer and points out that Pet First Aid Awareness Month is a perfect time to learn how to protect the family pet from hazards. Additional tips on how to keep pets in good health are located on the Red Cross Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist.

Local Red Cross volunteer

April 21, 2011
By NIKKI YOUNK – Staff Writer , The Daily News,

IRON MOUNTAIN – An Iron Mountain man is continuing his many years of service through the American Red Cross by volunteering for the tornado relief operation in North Carolina.

Vic Seppi departed on Wednesday for Raleigh, N.C. He will spend the next three weeks working as a warehouse supervisor.

“Vic will be responsible for helping manage supplies and other resources in a Red Cross warehouse where supplies will be coming in and going out to help those affected,” explained Nick Clippert, emergency services manager for the East Central Wisconsin chapter of the Red Cross.

This type of work is not new to Seppi. He has been volunteering with the Red Cross since he retired as the Sagola postmaster in 1998.

Seppi estimated that he has gone on 25 different relief assignments across the country in that time period. His resume includes volunteer work at ground zero after the World Trade Center attacks and in the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina.

Although the work can be intense at times, Seppi said that he enjoys volunteering over and over again.

“I’m just happy to go out on a relief operation again and be able to help people in need,” said Seppi.

Anyone interested in becoming an American Red Cross volunteer can stop by the Iron Mountain office at 427 S. Stephenson Avenue or call 774-2494.