Red Cross Issues Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend

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Many people will be taking road trips, spending time at the beach and having cook outs this weekend. The American Red Cross offers safety tips to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable time.

“We encourage everyone to take a few simple, safety steps when spending time on the road, at the beach and at cook outs,” said Lisa StanchfieldCommunity Preparedness Specialist “Start by downloading our free First Aid and Swim apps.”

People should also follow these safety tips:

Tips for Safe Travel

* Take emergency supplies such as food and water, a flashlight and a first aid kit.

* Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive.

* Buckle up and obey traffic signs.

* Avoid texting and talking on the phone while driving.

* Don’t drink and drive.

swim_by_american_red_cross_app_iconTips for Safe Swimming

* Check weather and beach conditions throughout the day.

* Always swim in an area supervised by a lifeguard and obey all warnings.

* Provide close and constant attention to children in or near the water.

* Stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.

* Young children, inexperienced swimmers and boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Tips for Safe Grilling

* Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

* Keep children and pets away from the grill.

* Never add charcoal starter fluid after coals have been ignited.

* Use long-handled utensils.

* Don’t leave the grill unattended while in use.

The Red Cross has a series of mobile apps in case people run into severe weather or need expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. People can go to redcross.org/apps for information.

Red Cross Continues Large Sandy Relief Operation

Residents should listen to local authorities as widespread power outages and
storm damages make travel dangerous

The American Red Cross is continuing a major relief operation throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to shelter and assist people affected by Superstorm Sandy. Millions awoke this morning to power outages, fallen trees, scattered debris, and flooded neighborhoods and the Red Cross is working hard to get help where it is needed.

Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in more than 250 Red Cross shelters across 16 states including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Indiana, and Michigan. These numbers could increase as the storm moves into cities like Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee with heavy wind, rain and snow.

“Our first priority is to get people the help they need – providing families and individuals with a safe place to stay and food to eat,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “While it is too early to know the full extent of Sandy’s damage, we expect to be working with a variety of partners to help people for the next several weeks.”

The Red Cross has mobilized 1,700 disaster workers from all over the country who have served more than 25,000 meals and snacks so far. We have also activated167 response vehicles and shipped in more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals. This is a huge disaster, bigger than any one organization can handle and the Red Cross is working closely with multiple partners including a variety of civic groups, advocacy organizations, professional organizations and houses of worship to share their expertise and volunteers.

SAFETY AFTER THE STORM In areas hit by this storm, the Red Cross urges people to check on their neighbors, make sure everyone is okay, and take care of each other until help arrives. Everyone should follow the direction of their local officials during this disaster – evacuate if told to do so, stay in a safe place and off the roads until the storm is over, and do not return home until officials say it is okay.

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 local media outlets. People can let their loved ones know how they are by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Hurricane App which can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are okay. To register, visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

With more than 7 million people without power as of Tuesday morning, residents should take precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones. For those without power, surround food with ice in a cooler or refrigerator to keep food cold for a longer period of time and keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use flashlights, not candles. Residents should also turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and any appliances, equipment or electronics that were on when the power went out to avoid damaging them when the power is restored. Finally, eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car as traffic lights will be out and roads congested.

FINANCIAL AND BLOOD DONATIONS NEEDED “The Red Cross response to Sandy is very large and will be very costly, affecting a massive area spanning much of the eastern half of the country. We need the public’s help now,” said Shimanski.   

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 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 someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Approximately 300 Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled due to the storm, and more are expected. The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that people in the affected areas consider donating blood once the storm passes through and it’s safe to do so.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

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.

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Winter Storm Warning for Northeast Wisconsin

It looks like our worst “spring time” fears have been confirmed here in the Northeast Wisconsin Region. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the entire southern 2/3 of the Region with 6-8 inches of snow expected in and just to the north of theFoxValleyand intoDoorCounty. Lesser amounts are expected to the South in Southern Fond du Lac, Southern Manitowoc, andSheboyganCounties, where a mix of snow, rain, and sleet is expected. Lesser amounts of around 6 inches are also forecast north of Highway 29.

Below is a map from the National Weather Service.

Don’t be caught off guard by winter weather travel disruptions and power outages as this is expected to be extremely wet, heavy snow – Get Prepared!