MLK National Day of Service 2013

FDL Group - 2

One of our teams in the Fond du Lac area.

American Red Cross staff and volunteers, fire department, Girl Scouts, Fresh Start representatives honored the service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by canvassing neighborhoods to provide tips on fire safety and prevention, and to remind residents that home fires are one disaster that can be prevented.

During the MLK National Day of Service volunteers talked with people at home about ways to heat and cook safely, the value of smoke alarms and the need to create and practice a household fire escape plan. Fire safety and prevention door hangers in English and in Spanish were provided to all homes volunteers visited, and left for neighbors who were not at home.

We distributed 12,500 door hangers to 12,500 houses in 11 different communities across Northeast Wisconsin. Those communities included: Appleton, Fond du Lac, Grand Chute, Green Bay, Iron Mountain, Manitowoc, Menasha, North Fond du Lac , Oshkosh, Sheboygan, and Waupaca

We want to thank our volunteers, participating fire departments, girl scouts, Fresh Start representatives, and the schools for helping distribute these very important safety tips, that could save lives!

Distributing in Sheboygan!

Distributing in Sheboygan!

Make a Difference Day

Thank you to the Oakfield Fire Department for working with the American Red Cross on our Make a Difference Day Project.  We delivered fire prevention door hangers in the rural communities in Fond du Lac County. By partnering with the Oakfield Fire Department, and were able to deliver door hangers to the entire Village of Oakfield. Thank you for making a difference!

Red Cross Volunteers Honor Dr. King’s Memory by Helping Prevent Home Fires

As his sister Lexus and mother Keesha listen, four-year-old London Slocum tells Randy Jordan, President and CEO of HOPE worldwide, and Patty Flowers, Southeast Wisconsin Chapter CEO, where his family will meet if they have to evacuate their home.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 — More than 260 Red Cross volunteers in Milwaukee spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday helping others by going door-to-door through nine neighborhoods that have had high rates of home fires.

Together, they visited more than 8,000 homes, talking with residents about how to prevent fires and how to escape safely should a fire occur, and leaving door hangers with fire safety tips for those who were not at home.

Members of HOPE worldwide, the Milwaukee Fire Department and Sanford-Brown College joined the Red Cross for the King Day of Service, as did Keith Cruise, a former Cincinnati Bengals football player.

The fire safety program makes a difference. In Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code, home fires dropped from 80 in 2009 to 33 in 2011. In zip code 53212 fires fell from 57 to 18 during those years.

“The difference to be made here is for the benefit of other people,” said Randy Jordan, HOPE worldwide president and CEO, who also canvassed door-to-door the entire day. “These families will be able to share another birthday, celebrate another Thanksgiving, open presents on another Christmas Day because of our efforts.”

Gerald Washington, assistant fire chief and local Red Cross board member, along with 30 Milwaukee firefighters, joined the volunteers and installed smoke alarms when no functioning alarm was present in a home.

On a block close to the fire station, not a single home had a working smoke detector. Residents told firefighters they didn’t feel they needed an alarm because they lived so close to the firehouse. When installing an alarm in one home, a firefighter removed a lawnmower and other flammable items stored next to the furnace.

“What we do today will always impact tomorrow,” said Cruise.

Similar volunteer activities took place this holiday, from Milwaukee to New Orleans, and from New York to Los Angeles, as Red Cross volunteers answered The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to service by teaching others about fire safety.

Fire is the biggest disaster threat to American families—not floods, hurricanes or tornadoes. On average, the American Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to people affected by approximately 63,000 fires every year, or about one fire every eight minutes. For fire safety information, visit the Help Prevent Home Fires pages of www.RedCross.org.

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

Volunteers Commemorate Dr. King by Providing Lifesaving Fire Safety Information

American Red Cross volunteers will canvass local neighborhoods to distribute fire prevention and safety tips.

“Life’s most persistent question,” Dr. King once asked, “is what are you doing for others?” This Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, American Red Cross volunteers are doing a lot for others in their local communities. They are distributing vital fire safety information to help residents prevent home fires, protect their loved ones and strengthen their community.

Dozens of volunteers from the American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that helps people prepare, prevent and respond to emergencies, will join State Farm Agents from around Northeast WI,  along with the Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Ripon, Town of Menasha,  Appleton, Grand Chute, Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay Fire Departments, Waupaca Fresh Start Program (distribution on Monday) Iron Mountain Girl Scout Troops and Disaster Action Team members.

Volunteers will canvass door-to-door throughout their local neighborhoods, talk with residents and leave behind door hangers with fire safety information. The door hangers include information about smoke alarms, creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking and heating a home safely this winter. This community program is sponsored by grants from State Farm and the American National Red Cross.

When:  Saturday, January 14, 2012,  9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Where: Volunteers will canvass the following communities. Orientations will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the closest locations to the communities:

  • Fond du Lac
  • Ripon
  • Appleton
  • Iron Mountain, MI
  • Markesan
  • Menasha
  • Oshkosh
  • Green Bay
  • Shawano
  • Manitowoc
  • Sheboygan

Home fires are the most common disaster threat across the country. Last year, chapters within the region responded to 210 local disasters, the majority of which were residential fires. Nationally, every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a home fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association fire claims nine lives every day in the U.S.A.

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 www.NEWRedCross.org. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

Help Save Lives with American Red Cross Fire Safety Tips- Install Smoke Alarms and Create a Fire Escape Plan

Red Cross helping out at an apartment fire in Denmark

Every 82 seconds a home fire breaks out, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Fires can cause irreparable damage to homes and businesses displacing families and employees. Last year, the American Red Cross responded to 63,000 home fires across the country and provided comfort and basic necessities to those affected. This October 9-15 the Red Cross is helping families and businesses learn how to protect themselves and others from fires in observance of National Fire Prevention Week.

“Taking simple steps like installing smoke detectors and developing and practicing a fire escape plan can make a critical difference in saving lives, homes and workplaces,” said Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive, who recommends that every family and business develop and practice a fire safety plan. “Everyone at home, school and work should know what to do when they hear the sound of a smoke alarm.”

Additional recommendations include:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year.

Follow your escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for additional fire safety tips.

Business, too, should be prepared. Fire is the most common of all business disasters. Companies, schools and other organizations can learn how to prepare for fires and other emergencies by becoming a member of the Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program at www.readyrating.org. Complete a free, online assessment of your current readiness level and receive customized feedback with tips to improve preparedness.

In addition to helping families and businesses prepare their homes and facilities for potential fires, the Red Cross is there to help those in need when fires break out. Volunteers from the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin are responding, on average, to a fire every other day in our community.

“In order to continue responding to disasters like fires at homes and businesses here in Northeast Wisconsin, the Red Cross depends on the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community,” added Steve Hansen.

You can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit http://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 your local American Red Cross chapter 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. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Keep Your Thanksgiving Fire-Free

Dry turkey. Watery mashed potatoes. Family feuds. Beyond these holiday “hazards,” what makes the most trouble over Thanksgiving is a real hazard: cooking fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is prime time for these accidents, since many people break out the pots and pans for the holiday.

To keep your Thanksgiving safe and fire-free, follow these tips.

Mind your pan

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove. Unattended cooking causes nearly 90 percent of all kitchen fires.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Be alert. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.

Keep it clear

  • Keep anything that can catch fire—potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
  • Make sure your sleeves are out of the way when cooking. Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves. 

Kids and pets

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
Keep your Thanksgiving safe and fire-free

Fire prevention isn’t just for the holidays, though. To keep you and your family safe, it’s important to follow some safety tips year-round.

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button.

At least once a year, replace the batteries in your smoke alarms; every 10 years, replace the entire smoke alarm.  

Make a Fire Escape Plan
If the unthinkable does happen, you want to make sure you’re prepared. Sit down with your family and make a fire escape plan:

  • Make sure all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Decide where you will meet outside in case of fire.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Read more about fire safety and prevention at Redcross.org.

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