Preparedness Information When It’s Needed Most

Get the facts you need — before, during, and after a disaster or emergency situation. As the nation’s preeminent preparedness and safety training organization, the American Red Cross developed the following emergency-specific checklists using the latest research, science, best practices and expert opinion.

  • Be Red Cross Ready (general preparedness) PDF
  • Taking Care of Your Emotional Health after a Disaster  PDF
  • Prepare now for Peace of Mind Later PDF

Click HERE for additional safety and preparedness information.

Residents get reassurances, few answers; Clintonville meeting dispels some rumors

The Shawano Leader, By Tim Ryan; tryan@shawanoleader.com

Leader Photo by Tim Ryan
About 400 Clintonville area residents turned out Wednesday for a meeting about the unexplained booming noises and tremors reported in the city over the last few days.

Clintonville residents on edge after three days and three nights of strange noises and tremors left a community meeting Wednesday night with few answers, but plenty of assurances from officials that they were doing all they can.

Several hundred people, flanked by rows of television cameras, crowded into the auditorium at Clintonville High School to hear city officials address a mystery that has become a national news story.

“The city team of staff and elected officials are doing everything we can to solve the mystery behind the booming, thunderous vibrations that are being felt throughout our city,” City Administrator Lisa Kuss said.

Scores of homes have been shaken three nights in a row and residents awakened by noises variously described as explosions, thunder, booming and jackhammer-like rattling. The activity has also been heard and felt to a lesser degree during daylight hours.

City officials say there is no indication of any danger, but members of the American Red Cross were on hand at Wednesday’s meeting, along with mental health counselors, who Kuss said would be available for residents dealing with stress and sleepless nights during the ordeal.

Kuss sought to ease concerns from some residents of a possible earthquake looming, saying the Level 3 earthquakes typical in Wisconsin are generally not even felt above ground.

“We have confirmed this is not typical earthquake activity,” she said, adding that the activity seems to be originating within a few hundred feet of the surface rather than the mile or more down where earthquakes are triggered.

Another concern raised by several residents was the possibility of a large-scale sinkhole, but Kuss said the earth beneath Clintonville — layers of sand, gravel and clay on top of granite — made that scenario unlikely, according to geologists.

“After three days, if there was any indication of sink holes, we should be seeing some change in the landscape,” Kuss said.

Kuss also dispelled rumors of underground lakes, rivers or caverns, saying there was no indication from geologists of any of those things.

Most likely, she said, is the possibility of some natural phenomenon occurring under the ground, possibly linked to an earlier and warmer than usual spring.

“There is some reason to believe the warm spring is shifting the granite rock under our community,” Kuss said.

The city has hired engineering firm Ruekert-Mielke of Waukesha, at a cost of $7,000, to install four monitors in locations still to be determined in the city.

The hope is the monitors will determine a pattern and epicenter and then depth of the vibrations that might lead to some solution. But, Kuss said, the city could not promise results.

“There is no guarantee this information will be useful or that it will solve our problem,” she said. “It is possible we will never have a definitive answer.”

Most of what Kuss presented to attendees Wednesday were the number of possible explanations that have been eliminated over the past several days, including problems with the water and sewer systems; elevated gas levels; area blasting or mining; closed landfill or dam structures; industrial businesses; military operations; and geological occurrences such as isostatic rebound or cryoseism.

Isostatic rebound is the upward movement of the Earth’s crust following a large scale sinking of the crust under a heavy weight, such as ice.

Cryoseism, also known as a frost quake, can be caused by a sudden cracking action in frozen soil or rock saturated with water or ice.

Kuss, addressing a question of whether there should be an evacuation plan, said there was no indication at this time that the incidents of the last three days pose any kind of danger.

“At this point, and we’ve indicated to that the last three days, we do not feel that it’s necessary to evacuate,” she said. “We’re hoping that it’s getting better, not worse, and at this point if we felt it was necessary to evacuate, we would indicate that.”

Kuss said city staff and county emergency personnel already have plans in place to deal with such things as tornadoes, and would apply the same measures if necessary.

“We would in a heartbeat have things in place for you if things got worse, places for you to go, places for you to evacuate,” she said.

The city has had some 600 calls since late Sunday night about the noises and vibrations. Initially, the incidents seemed to be centered in the northeast quadrant of the city, but spread south and west over the next two days.

The subsequent incidents were said to be less severe, however, raising hopes the phenomenon could just disappear even if it’s never explained.

Red Cross Prepares for Spring Disasters

Early season tornadoes in 2012 after active spring in 2011

Spring can be one of the busiest seasons for the American Red Cross, with severe weather causing tornadoes and floods that affecting communities across the country.

Last spring, in a span of only three months, the Red Cross launched 46 large-scale disaster relief operations in 31 states. And weather experts are predicting 2012 to be another busy year for storms.

Tornado Season Arrives Tornado season has traditionally begun in April and extended throughout the month of June. But in 2012, the Red Cross has already responded to tornadoes in January, February and March. March brought particularly brutal storms with approximately 80 tornadoes affecting communities from the Midwest to the Gulf on a single day, March 2.

In the immediate aftermath of these storms, the Red Cross has opened shelters, distributed food and provided comfort and care for those affected. As of March 14, the Red Cross has opened 33 shelters, providing more than 1,000 overnight stays, and has served more than 92,500 meals and snacks to those affected by severe storms. It seems tornado season is arriving early.

Homeowner Cindy Cain of Henryville, Indiana talks with Red Cross volunteer Gerry Holmes after the tornado leveled her home as well as most of the town.

In a recent Reuters article, climatologist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said the fact is that tornado season will begin as early as February.

Not only do scientists expect tornado season to start earlier, but the number of days when conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form will likely increase, according to atmospheric scientist Robert Trapp of Purdue University. Trapp and his colleagues also predicted that the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast, regions that do not typically experience tornadoes, will have an increase in days with tornado-making weather conditions.

Already this year, the Red Cross has responded to tornadoes in southeastern Michigan, an area that is not normally associated with tornadoes. With more days likely to produce tornado conditions and more areas likely to be affected, the Red Cross is helping communities across the country prepare for and respond to these disasters.

Spring Flood Outlook Last spring, the Red Cross also responded to major flooding and widespread wildfires. Thankfully, for the first time in four years, there is no high risk of major flooding this spring according to NOAA’s annual Spring Outlook.

“We’re not forecasting a repeat of recent historic and prolonged flooding in the central and northern U.S., and that is a relief,” said Laura Furgione, deputy director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. “The severity of any flooding this year will be driven by rainfall more so than the melting of the current snowpack.” Still, spring rainfall can lead to flooding at any time and the Red Cross urges everyone to be prepared.

Forecasters say drought conditions will likely persist across much of the southern U.S. and expand in the Southwest through spring which could result in an active wildfire season.

When emergencies strike, knowing where to go and what to do can help save lives. For preparedness tips for spring weather including tornadoes, flooding and wildfires, visit redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Training, a Plan and Teamwork Can Save a Life!

The story below emphasizes the fact that you cannot put a price tag on a life that has been saved by using CPR/AED training.  Luckily, this 64-year-old businessman was in good hands the minute he went into cardiac arrest on the jobsite.  The costs of training and creating an emergency plan paid off for the two businesses mentioned.  With the correct and regular training, these workers were able to react quickly, follow procedure and save a precious life.

Want to learn more about our training packages and how you can get an AED and training for your business? Give me a call or e-mail me at: 920-227-4294 or kimberly.apfelbeck@redcross.org

Kimberly Apfelbeck, Sales Representative, American Red Cross Eastern WI Territory

Man Suffers Heart Attack During Business Trip To Madison 

Submitted by Scott Beedy, Channel 3000 Community Editor, March 2, 2012

A life of an Ohio businessman working in Madison this week was saved after he collapsed from a heart attack in a trailer on the construction site of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s new Wisconsin Energy Institute.

The man, who is 64 years old, was visiting a the site when he collapsed in the trailer and project office of Mortenson Construction. Workers from Mortenson and Hallmark Drywall who witnessed the collapse immediately moved to respond, fire officials said. One called the Dane County 911 Communications Center, while another reached for the defibrillator on the wall. Others workers began chest compressions, while yet another group of workers got in place to guide emergency crews to the man.

911 call taker Laurie Frederickson continued with calm instructions until firefighters and medics arrived, officials said. They said the man was treated and taken to the hospital minutes later.

The workers on site told crews credited their actions to the company’s emergency response plan and required safety training, which includes CPR.

Fire officials said at last check the man was in good condition, preparing to be released from the hospital.

Happy Birthday Blanche!!

Happy Birthday to Blanche B. who turned 96 on March 15. Blanche has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for almost 35 years. You can see and talk to this remarkable women every Thursday in the blood center in Green Bay while she  is volunteering at the donor registration desk.

My Dancing With the Stars Experience

By Dawn McCoy of Tranquility Spa

Dawn McCoy and the American Red Cross DWTS Fundraiser. (Photo by Michael Peters)

Ahhh…..  to dance with a star!  It’s like a dream, a lifetime opportunity to be  challenged on yet another level.  I took this undertaking very seriously  and kept myself open to connecting with the vision and mission of the  Red Cross.  Since this experience is an event created for the intention  of raising funds for the American Red Cross, my initial focus went  directly to that.  I was inspired at 2 a.m. one morning with an idea.  I  awoke thinking, “We need more ways of sharing peace, love, happiness  and hope!!  Everyone could benefit from having a reminder or ‘token’ to  extend kindness and love to others!”  This is exactly where the initial  peace stone idea developed from.  My thought was, “It can’t get much  better than this!  I can create a gift or token that could be purchased  by one, but expand to touch the lives of many.”  When purchased, it can  benefit the person receiving the gift, go toward an amazing cause by  supporting the Red Cross, and help increase awareness.  As the old adage  goes… kill two birds with one stone.  My “Pass the Peace” mission was  created.  My sister and I created a poem to accompany each stone and  deliver the message of its purpose to whomever receives it.After creating the campaign, I moved on to finalizing the  music, working out which dances I would be doing and then figuring out  costume designs for the big day. My next step was to meet my dance  partner, Christopher Anthony Flores.  We had an instant connection; I  immediately knew that we would work very well together.  He had a strong  inner peace, mixed with a kind heart and an incredible love for helping  others dually combined with a passion for dancing.  He was incredibly  patient, helped me work through my “seriousness,” and allowed me to  experience many crazy, fun moments on the dance floor.

My journey continued and at times was definitely  challenging.  The dancing was a release and a wonderful way to keep many  things in focus.  As we made progress with technique and our routines,  Chris kept everything in focus.  He would always say, “Dawn as long as  you are having fun, that is the only thing that matters!”  I can’t tell  you how many times I had so much on my plate on so many levels that  “fun” was about the last thing on my mind.  That was the irony, the  lesson and yet another valuable perspective which needed to be brought  to my awareness.  Two weeks before the event it hit me.  We were in the  middle of practice and I realized in every other area of my life I think  and plan my next move.  Dancing for the female is about learning to  feel, trust, and express your love for the art.  As Chris would  repeatedly say, “HAVE FUN!”  I really correlated the symbolism of how  dancing related to real life.  Had I not had this experience to teach  me, I wouldn’t be able to share this new found perspective with others.   So as you learn to dance (live), have fun, learn to trust, and really  feel your next move.  So that’s it… it’s that simple!  You can connect  with someone, make a difference and share it with another.

Just like the song… “Life’s a dance you learn as you go,  sometimes you lead sometimes you follow.  Don’t worry about what you  don’t know, life’s a dance you learn as you go!!”

“Learn to trust and feel another’s heart, in that lies the  art!!”  Allow yourself the flexibility to be open to the next  opportunity, and in the meantime, be mindful and help raise awareness so  that we may truly be able to “Pass the Peace” with others.

In conclusion, Pass the “Peace” is a Campaign designed to  help connect relationships throughout the world. The mission and vision  of Tranquility Spa is to provide a ‘peace’ of Tranquility in the lives  of others.  Based on this parallel, I feel we (together) can have a  greater “ripple” effect on more lives and touch more hearts in the  process.  My request is that each stone be given with an act of kindness  for the intention of bringing us together for Tranquility.  Stones can  be purchased at Tranquility Spa or online through our website for $10.   The proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to provide hope in the  midst of disaster and at the same time serve as a reminder of why we are  all here.

“Pass the Peace”
The purpose of this little stone Is to strengthen you, alone.
With this token to remind, Inner strength and to be kind.
When you share this with another, Peace and Tranquility is what you’ll discover.
Increase the joy; find a way. Create a “ripple,” start today!

 

Red Cross Helps Families in the Aftermath of Indiana Tornadoes

 

Written By Gerry Holmes

Beverly was at work but Lloyd was home alone with their pet Chihuahua when the sirens went off. He put a chair in the closet, put the dog on his lap and covered up with a blanket and prepared for the worst.  As the giant tornado was wreaking havoc all around him, Lloyd, prepared to die as he felt the house begin to lift off the ground. Just then, a giant oak tree behind the house split and dropped on top of the house, pinning it there and preventing it from going anywhere. “Apparently the Lord had other plans for Lloyd,” Beverly says.

March 6, 2012 The American Red Cross responds to an EF4 tornado, the most powerful rating with winds of 175 mph, destroyed virtually entire neighborhoods in Henryville, Indiana. Photo Courtesy of Daniel Ciuma.

 

They relayed their story after receiving food, work gloves and blankets from the American Red Cross food truck that was cruising the areas affected by the storm. “The Red Cross is so helpful and we appreciate everything they do” Beverly said. “My brother is a tool and die maker, a smart man,” Beverly says. “He says the Red Cross is the only charity he’ll contribute to because they give back so much. They help everybody when they need it.”