The American Red Cross Releases the Blood App

You Hold the Power to Save Lives

Blood Donor App_Infographic_Top5Features

The American Red Cross is happy to introduce a first-of-its kind Blood Donor App that puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. Through the app, users can schedule appointments, track total donations, earn rewards and invite others to join them on a lifesaving team. The Blood Donor App is a great new way to help meet the constant need for blood.

The app has many exciting features including:

  • Find local blood drives and donation centers quickly and easily;
  • Convenient, easy appointment scheduling and rescheduling;
  • Receive appointment reminders;
  • Keep track of total blood donations;
  • Receive special blood shortage alert messages;
  • Claim rewards from participating retailers for donating blood or platelets;
  • Join or create a lifesaving team, recruit other blood donors and view rankings on the Blood Donor Teams Leaderboard;
  • Rate the blood donation experience;
  • Follow the user’s blood donation journey from donation through delivery, when available.

This new and exciting app is free and available for download on iPhone® and Android™ devices.

Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Week – April 21-25

It’s not a nursery rhyme, Mother Nature can huff and puff to blow your house down. In fact, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually!  Last year, 16 tornadoes were reported, in Wisconsin, by the National Weather Service, including six during the night of August 6, 2013. The strongest tornado, rated an EF2, hit near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie Counties and required a significant response for our Disaster Action Teams.

To help everyone refresh their tornado awareness, the National Weather Service will test our knowledge on Thursday, April 24th.

  • At 1:00p.m. they will issue a mock tornado watch for the entire state. A ‘tornado watch’ means tornadoes are possible. Residents in the watch area should remain alert for approaching storms.
  • At 1:45p.m., they will issue a mock tornado warning. A ‘tornado warning’ means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar. Residents should move to a safe place immediately.
  • The tornado drill will end at 2:00p.m.

The National Weather Service will conduct the drill even if the sky is cloudy, dark or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected, anywhere, in the state, the tornado drill will be postponed until Friday, April 25 at the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled. To help refresh your memory of safest places to be, what watch & warnings mean, emergency kit items to have and even audible alerts for where you live, please download the FREE Tornado APP.

Let us know how you have prepared during the week and we will let you know the results of the tornado drills, at our offices, too!

American Red Cross New Flood App Can Save Lives

By Jody Weyers, Director of Volunteers and Communications, Northeast Wisconsin

So many people, with all their belongs on the curb. So very sad to see everything these people worked for destroyed.

So many people, with all their belongings on the curb. So very sad to see everything these people worked for destroyed.

September 2013, I saw first-hand the devastation that can happen from flooding and flash floods. I was deployed to Denver, Colorado to assist in Disaster Public Affairs and worked with a professional photographer and his assistant.

We talked directly with the clients impacted and over and over, I heard the same stories of how fast the water came rushing up to their homes and they barely had enough time to escape or had to be rescued. I also saw the devastation all around from roads buckled from the rushing waters, to parks once filled with children playing, that now looked like lakes, to seeing water up to the steps of homes.

I was there when one family was going back into their home for the first time after five days to see if there was anything worth salvaging. You could see the water-line up to the middle of the garage door. We had breathing masks on because of the mold and mildew that set in after the flood waters had receded. The floor was covered with brown silt. These are just some of the images that will remain with me when I think of flooding.

(click HERE to read in more detail about my Colorado deployment)

Did you know that floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States? The American Red Cross developed its new Flood App to help save lives and reduce losses from floods and flash floods.

This free app gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a flood. The content is available in English and Spanish based on the user’s language settings on their mobile device.

FloodScreenShot2The app includes location-based, audible NOAA flood and flash flood watches and warnings – even if the app is closed. Other features include:

  • One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Real-time recovery resources for returning home and cleaning up; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

The app is the latest in the series of Red Cross emergency preparedness apps that put lifesaving information right in the hands of people whenever and wherever they need it. The expert advice in Red Cross apps, which also include apps for First Aid, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and other services, has been used to help save lives during disasters and medical emergencies. Red Cross apps have been downloaded on nearly 4 million mobile devices.

The Flood App, along with the others, 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. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

Red Cross Can Help You Be Prepared for the Next Emergency

Take A Class, Download First Aid App To Help Save Life 

Recent events in Boston and Texas emphasize the importance of knowing what to do when an emergency occurs. Evan as first responders rushed into help at both scenes, much of the initial care to the injured was provided by friends, neighbors and bystanders who were trained in CPR and first aid. Whether the emergency is community-wide and involves numerous injuries, or involves a single individual being hurt at home, it is vital that someone close by knows what to do when such an emergency occurs.

“Getting yourself and your family more prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind during trying times and can help save someone’s life during future emergencies,” said Judy Gregory, Disaster Services Director. “Taking an action like downloading our first aid, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help people feel empowered to act when disaster strikes.

The American Red Cross has numerous ways people can get the information and training they need to be able to help when an emergency occurs and urges everyone to be better prepared by taking advantage of training and mobile apps available to teach them what to do when someone needs assistance.

FIRST AID/CPR CLASSES The Red Cross has classes available that emphasize hands-on-learning of First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The courses teach someone the skills they need to help save a life. Participants learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies, how to respond to cardiac and breathing emergencies in adults and how to use AEDs. There are also options available to learn how to help infants and children. People canregister for these classes at redcross.org/takeaclass or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

ONLINE TRAINING Family and household members can learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies by taking the new Red Cross Family First Aid and CPR online,The cost is $30. Family First Aid and CPR teaches you how to:

  • Identify signals of medical emergencies
  • Give appropriate care for common first aid emergencies.
  • Know when to call 9-1-1 and what to do until help arrives for critical cardiac and first aid emergencies.

This course is for people who do not require OSHA-compliant certification. It takes about 2 hours to go through the Adult CPR and First Aid content. Pediatric modules are also available.

DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP People can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App for iPhone and Android mobile devices which puts simple lifesaving information at someone’s fingertips. Features include step-by-step instructions to guide someone through everyday first aid scenarios, full integration with 9-1-1 to call emergency services from the app and preloaded content to have instant access to information even without device reception or internet connectivity. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross.

American Red Cross Urges Residents to Prepare for Severe Weather

Download free Tornado App to get ready for rain, strong winds and possible tornadoes

The American Red Cross is urging residents in Northeast Wisconsin to make sure households, schools and business are prepared for possible severe weather including rain, strong winds and possible tornados.

“Listen to weather alerts and designate a safe space where people can gather for the duration of the storm,” said Judy Gregory, Regional Manager, Disaster Services.  “The area should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor away from windows.”

Do this one simple step in being prepared - download one of the many Red Cross Apps to your phone!

Do this one simple step in being prepared – download one of the many Red Cross Apps to your phone!

Download Tornado App

The American Red Cross Tornado App is available in English or Spanish and gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado.

The free app includes a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued. This feature allows users to make critical decisions and to take actions to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe even in the middle of the night. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.

Other features of the app include:

  • Location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts;
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters.

“If a tornado is threatening your area, listen for alerts and warnings, grab your emergency preparedness kit and head to your designated safe area,” Gregory added. “Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.”

The Tornado App, along with other apps, can be found in the Apply App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. People can go to redcross.org/tornado for more safety tips.

Be Prepared – Get the Tornado App

New ImageGet your family and home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The Tornado app puts everything you need to know prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready.

You can download the app directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

FEATURES: 

  • Simple step-by-step instructions to help you know what-to-do even if the cell towers and TVs are down. Prioritized actions for before, during, and after requires no mobile connectivity.
  • Audible siren that automatically goes off even if app is closed when NOAA issues a TORNADO WARNING helping to reduce the chance of sleeping through an actual warning.
  • Push notification sent when a WARNING expires – especially important if power goes out while you or your family are in your safe room.
  • Help distant friends and family in tornado alley with ability to receive tornado watch and warning alerts based on their location from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Red Cross location-based open shelters map for when you need it most.
  • Be ready should a tornado hit by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation.
  • Reduce your household’s stress and anxiety should a tornado hit by learning to make and practice an emergency plan.
  • Preloaded content means you have instant access to all safety information at anytime, even without reception or an Internet connection.
  • Interactive quizzes allow you to earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your tornado knowledge.
  • Know how many tornadoes have occurred in your area.
  • Know the difference between a warning and alert.
  • Learn how to deal with food and water impacted by floods and power outages.
  • Simply let friends/family know you’re safe with customizable “I’m Safe” notification sharable thru social media, text and email.
  • Let others know where you are with the Toolkit’s stobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions

Thousands Look to Red Cross For Shelter from Sandy

People Can Support Response by Giving To Red Cross Disaster Relief

Thousands of people across nine states took refuge from Hurricane Sandy in American Red Cross shelters Sunday night as the massive storm neared the East Coast.

More than 3,200 people spent the night in 112 Red Cross shelters in nine states – New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Massachusetts. The number of people going to shelters is expected to grow as the storm comes ashore.

The Red Cross has deployed more than 1,300 disaster workers to the region from all over the country to help those affected by the storm. As many as 160 emergency vehicles are ready to respond when it is safe to do so, and more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals have been sent into the area.

“Sandy is a large and dangerous storm, and will affect large parts of the eastern part of the country for the next few days, said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “We urge people to remain in a safe place until it passes, and to listen to instructions from local officials.”

To find a Red Cross shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check their local media outlets.”

People can also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

BLOOD DRIVES CANCELLED Meanwhile, nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled due to the storm, and there could be more as the week goes on. This means a loss of as many as 3,200 blood and platelet products. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.

“Patients will still need blood despite the weather,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer of the Red Cross. “To ensure a sufficient national blood supply is available for those in need, both during and after the storm passes, it is critical that those in unaffected areas make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible.”

 To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them.  Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.

HOW TO HELP  “This will be a large, costly relief response and the Red Cross needs help now,” Shimanski said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013.

RED CROSS APPS More than 235,000 people have downloaded the free Red Cross Hurricane App Friday when Sandy began approaching, making it one of the most popular free apps. The app gives up-to-date weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay.

People have been using the app to find shelters, to set up locations for the app to monitor, to make a disaster plan, and learn what steps they can take to stay safe. The app is available in Spanish just by changing the smart phone setting to Spanish before downloading.

The First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in a person’s hand. Both can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Earthquake App Brings Safety Information to Mobile Devices

The American Red Cross released its official Earthquake App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake prone areas.

This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the third in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Earthquake App comes on the heels of the highly successful First Aid and Hurricane apps, which have more than 1 million users.

“This app gives users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after earthquakes,” said Dr. Steven J. Jensen, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee, and a professor in emergency management at California State University at Long Beach. “The new, simplified ‘Shake Zone Impact Maps’ provide users with personalized local impact information on the status of their community in order to help them make crucial decisions.”

Features of the app include:

  • Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey;
  • Personalized push notifications, monitoring both magnitude and geography;
  • A “Shake Zone Impact Map” that provides real-time, simplified impact assessment when available;
  • Comprehensive reporting of all seismic activity for every geographic area in the United States;
  • Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user handset settings;
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Information on events that may happen after earthquakes such as fires and tsunamis;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

“The new customizations and introduction of the ‘Shake Zone Impact Map’ can help individuals and families gain a better understanding of the effects of earthquakes both near their homes or where friends and family reside,” said Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. “With more than 1 million downloads and high praise from the digital community, the Red Cross has established itself as a leader in mobile apps that put critical information in people’s hands when they need it most,” McMaster added.

National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in Red Cross apps. A recent Red Cross survey found that apps have tied social media as the fourth most popular way for people to get information during emergencies, making the Red Cross app development effort even more important.

The Earthquake App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and we help people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these apps for free. The Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort. People can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

More than One Million Download Red Cross Mobile Safety Apps

The American Red Cross today announced that over the past three months, more than one million smart phone users have downloaded the recently released First Aid and Hurricane Apps.

These free apps are part of a series created by the American Red Cross for both iPhone and Android platforms. The apps provide users with real time information on what to do before, during and after emergencies.

 “The advances in smart phone technology have allowed the Red Cross to revolutionize how the public gets its safety and preparedness information,” said Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. “We’ve moved from having volumes of general information sitting on shelves to putting emergency-specific information right in people’s hands.”

Early evidence suggests that this is making a difference in emergency situations. In online reviews of the app, people have reported using the First Aid App to respond to everything from cuts and sprains, to choking, seizures and strokes. According to one user, “I was in my friend’s car with two others when suddenly my friend started having a seizure. I immediately looked at this app for help while calling 9-1-1 on another phone. I told the police about it and they said that there’s a good chance the information in this app saved my friend’s life. Thank you, American Red Cross.”

 “As Hurricane Isaac approached the Gulf Coast, our Hurricane App was put to the test,” McMaster added. “Hundreds of thousands of people downloaded the app and spent an average of 30 minutes using the app – demonstrating its value to consumers.”

Nearly 2 million weather alerts were issued and usage of the Shelter Finder feature doubled during and after Isaac. People also used the app to send “I’m Safe” messages to their loved ones.

National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in Red Cross apps.

Apps can help prepare people for emergencies, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can go to redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and we help people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these apps for free. The Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort. People can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

 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.

Red Cross Urges Everyone to Plan for Emergencies during National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and our local American Red Cross is encouraging all households to create a family disaster plan to make sure they are ready for the next emergency or disaster.

Plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can’t go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach other family members.

“Disasters can strike at any time and being prepared is a family’s best defense,” said Lisa Stanchfield, Community Preparedness Coordinator. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency as no one can predict where or when disasters will strike. However, we know preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow.”

Red Cross tools make it easier for people to make or update plans. The American Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone or Android smart phones helps people create a plan, share it with household members and over social networks.

The Red Cross will be participating in a number of community disaster education projects including:

  • Daily, through-out September, we will post special safety & preparedness tips on social media
  • Fondue Fest, Downtown Fond du Lac, Saturday, September 8th 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
  • Town of Menasha Safety Days at the Fire Department, 1326 Coldspring Rd, Saturday, Sept. 8th, 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.

Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference

Our Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is hosting the Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference October 18-21, 2012 at the Gruehagen Conference Center on the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh Campus. Courses will span several lines of Red Cross services during times of disasters. Two ‘Preparedness Education Leader’s Workshop’ which will provide tools and education to build preparedness skills in your community are on October 18th & 19th. Both long-time Red Cross volunteers and those looking to become involved in either community education, local disaster responses or larger disaster responses such as hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes are invited. Conference details and registration information are available at redcross.org/newisconsin.

Other Ways to Get Ready

The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.

  • Be Red Cross Ready is an online tutorial that teaches people to be ready for emergencies.
  • Red Cross Ready Rating™ is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.
  • The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.
  • Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.
  • People can visit redcross.org for information on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.

About the Northeast WI Chapter:

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit http://www.redcross.org/newisconsin. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

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