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.

College Campus Safety

By: PaKou Lee, PR/Social Media Volunteer

With the recent attempted assaults at and near UW-Oshkosh campus it is scary to know that it can happen to anyone: you, me, our friends and even our loved ones. As a recent graduate of UW-Green Bay, I know students stay late at the library studying, have evening classes and group meetings. By the end of the school day, the moon is already shining down on us, probably our only source of light besides a few streetlights.

indexI was a commuter in college and usually planned my walks to my car around times that I know other students would be outside walking also. Typically, it was right after my evening class when everyone in class left too. When I had to stay later than 9p.m. for my sorority meetings, I would move my car from the Kress Center parking lot to the Mary Ann Cofrin (MAC) visitor parking lot to be closer to Union building.  The great thing about the MAC visitor parking lot was that non-visitors could park there after 7p.m.  When sisters parked further away than I did, I offered rides to make sure they got to their car safely.

In continuation of National Preparedness Month, here are some college campus safety tips to help you avoid incidents like in Oshkosh.

Code Blue Emergency Phones: Many colleges and universities have the Code Blue emergency phone available on campus that is directly connected to the University police/security. Know where they are located on your campus and how to use them.

Buddy System: Never walk alone at night. Always walk with a friend or in a group. It will reduce your likeliness of getting hurt. Don’t be afraid to ask friends to meet up with you. You can even ask Campus security to escort you to your car or dorm, like the Community Service Officer Safe Walk Program at UW-Oshkosh. images1

Do Not Take Short Cuts: Walk in areas that are well lit and most traveled by. If you are walking alone, avoid walking near wooded areas.

Stay Alert: Pay attention to your surroundings. You do not want to risk any of your senses, such as hearing. Listening to music reduces your awareness of your surroundings. If you plan to talk on your cellphone so the person on the line is aware of your whereabouts, you can say “I am crossing Leon Bond Dr. now” or “I’m getting into my car now”. But do note that it can make you appear as an easier target because you don’t look focused on your surroundings. When you are near your car, have your keys ready to use and always check behind your backseat before you go inside your car.

When you witness an incident or have been involved in one, don’t be afraid to report it to the Police and Campus Security. Report as soon as possible so you don’t forget any small details and evidence. Dial 9-1-1 or if you are unsure what number to use for campus, ask your Campus Security for more information or find it on your college website.

Back to School – Time to SLOW DOWN!

By Jody Weyers, Director of Communications

busIt is back to school today for most students and it is a good reminder for everyone on the roads to remember to SLOW DOWN! In my commute to work, I pass two school zone.  Do you know what the speed limit is in a school zone?   15 MPH!!!  yes, 15!!!

Some students may also be riding the bus for the first time. If they are a first time rider, or a rider for many years, it is always good to go over school bus safety tips with your child and this is a good time for all motorist to brush up on their bus safety tips.

Bus Safety

If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps for students include:

  • Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has instructed you to get on.
  • Only board your bus and never an alternate one.
  • Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
  • Cross the street at the corner, obeying traffic signals and staying in the crosswalk.
  • Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.

Motorists should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean:

  • Yellow flashing lights — the bus is getting ready to stop, and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign — the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.

For additional safety tip information, go to www.redcross.org

Red Cross Issues Tips to Stay Safe this Summer as Temperatures Rise

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Summer is here, bringing with it dangerous excessive heat. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe as the temperatures soar.

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Temperature can rise quickly as high as 19 degrees within 10 minutes.*

NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN, PETS IN THE CAR, the inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

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    Within 20 minutes, the temperature reaches to an unbearable 109 degrees.* (*Graphic Courtesy of General Motors and Golden Gate Weather Services)

  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affectedby the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

HEAT STROKE IS LIFE-THREATENING. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit redcross.org, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or download the free Red Cross First Aid. The app is available for iPhone and Android smart phone and tablet users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

Year of Death # Fatalities
2000 1
2002 8
2003 9
2004 4
2005 12
2006 10
2007 5
2008 1
2009 8
2010 9
2011 5
2012 24

(From Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

Note: Numbers in table are totals of directly and indirectly-related heat fatalities. If heat was the primary cause of death it is a directly related heat death. If heat was a secondary or contributing cause of death it is an indirectly related heat death.

It’s Fishing & Boating Week: June 1st-9th.

By: PaKou Lee, Red Cross Volunteer

It’s that time of the year to pack your tackle box with the best lures and hooks. Bring your fishing pole and roll out the boat because it’s a week of celebrating fishing and boating. Don’t forget the sunscreen and safety rules!

It’s always an exciting adventure when it comes to fishing and boating. It brings families together and there’s happiness all around. People are soaking up the sun with their loved ones and enjoying their time off work.

One summer that I will never forget is the summer of 2002. I was 13 years old. A family friend named Mary took my brother, niece, two cousins, and me to Lake Mille Lac, MN. Lake Mille Lac is a popular tourism for family vacations. There are plenty of activities to choose from: shopping, fishing, camping, hiking, and more. It was about a 2-hour drive up north from my home in St. Paul. Mary’s family had cabins by the shore and was big into water skiing and tubing.

The first thing we all did when we arrived was swim. The weather was extremely hot, we jumped right into the lake to cool off. Of course, Mary always made sure we had tons of sunscreen on. My niece, Amy, and I also fed leftover bread to the fish on the dock while my brother, Tee, and cousins, Fong and Dennis, fished for them.

The adults brought out the boat, skis, and water tubes. I watched Fong and Dennis struggle with the skis; it was their first time. They went into the water before they even got the chance to stand up. I was too afraid to try so I took the easy route: water tubing. All I had to do was lay on the water tube and hold on tight, that I was able to do.

Amy and I rode on one water tube together. We didn’t know what to expect, as it was our first time water tubing. We were so nervous that we squealed when the boat started to go. The speed increased and my adrenaline rush was filled with fear and exhilaration. I squinted most of the time because of the intense wind and pressure.  As the boat took a turn and slowed down, Amy and I let go and went flying in the air. It was quite amazing being in the air, but it quickly ended when we landed in the water. I landed pretty hard. What felt like 6-ft. deep, I was probably 3-ft. under the water. I was so scared I wasn’t going to reach the surface in time to get air. Of course, I had my life jacket on so I floated up fine. It was so much fun, Amy and I did it again one more time before we left for home.

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Amy (L) and me (R) water tubing.

Fortunately, it was a great summer with no accidents for us.  We wore life jackets to keep us safe, wore sunscreen to protect our skin, and stayed close to shore when swimming near by.

Here are some water safety tips to keep in mind when out celebrating this week:

Safety Tips for Memorial Day!

The long Memorial Day holiday weekend is on the horizon and for many, plans will include taking to the highway, pulling out the grill and having a backyard barbecue. The American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to stay safe whatever their plans include.

DRIVE SAFELY

With more people on the roads, it’s important to drive safely. Be well rested and alert, use seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. If plans include drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.

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Other tips for a safe trip include:

  • Give one’s full attention to the road.  Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  • Make frequent stops.
  • Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night.
  • Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive the headlights.

GRILLING SAFETY

The Red Cross offers these tips Memdayto stay safe while cooking those tasty cookout treats:

  • Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use, and make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
  • Keep the chef safe by using the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill to cut off the fuel if necessary.
  • Keep a fireproof pan under the grill to catch any falling ash or grease.
  • Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
  • Wash one’s hands in hot soapy water before preparing food, after touching raw meat and after any interruptions such as using the bathroom, handling pets, stopping to do something with children.

DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP

Another thing people can do is download the FREE Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergency at someone’s fingertips. The free app is available for direct download from Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

Burrrrr….. Mother Nature is Letting us Know it IS still Winter!

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions around how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.

During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

To Thaw Frozen Pipes

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Future Protection

  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
  • Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • For more information, please contact a licensed plumber or building professional.
Click HERE to read about additional safety tips to keep you and your family safe!