Two years ago today, our counties were struck by one of the most devastating disasters in recent memory. It has been extraordinary, and humbling, to see our communities come together and build back stronger from that terrible event.
Exactly two years to the day after the North Bay Fires, we are facing the nearly identical wind and fuel conditions lasting through the middle of this week. Fortunately, our community has learned important lessons and taken strong early action. Read more
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning, which is in effect from 1 PM Monday to 11 AM Wednesday. A Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours. The type of weather patterns that can cause a warning include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes, or any combination of the above. Multiple counties in American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region are under Red Flag Warnings, including parts of Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and East Bay Hills. Read more
After events like the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, people may have feelings of fear, anxiety, grief, and helplessness. These are all normal feelings after this type of event. Something like this is upsetting for everyone. People near the emergency are affected, as well as people all over the country who may have family in the areas; who may know someone who was affected; or people who are watching the media coverage of this tragic situation.
Children are especially at risk as they may become afraid that the event will happen again, or that they or someone in their family may be injured or killed. The injuries and fatalities are difficult for them to understand. How a parent or other adult reacts around the child following a traumatic event can determine how quickly and completely the child recovers.
This is difficult to understand why something like this happens and it’s important for people to connect with and support each other.The Red Cross offers the following tips to help people stay strong:
Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next. Remember that it’s okay to feel nervous.
Stay informed but limit media exposure of the events, especially for children. Children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.
Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure them about their safety. Talk with them in ways that they can easily understand. Let them guide the conversation; share details only when they ask about them.
Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration, and anxiety.
Spend more time with family and friends and offer your support. Hug one another and listen.
Watch for signs of stress in your family, friends, and children. Get help from others if needed.
Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and get enough rest.
To reach out for free 24/7 crisis counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at (800) 985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish) or (800) 846-6815 (TTY) or text the Disaster DistressHelpline at text ‘TalkWithUs’ or ‘Hablanos’ (for Spanish) to 66746.
Coping With Grief After Community Violence (PDF | 1 MB)—This SAMHSA tip sheet introduces some of the signs of grief and anger after an incident of community violence, provides useful information about to how to cope with grief, and offers tips for helping children deal with grief.
The 4th of July holiday is just around the corner and many of us will take time off to enjoy a long weekend of summer fun. The American Red Cross wants everyone to have a great holiday and offers safety steps people can follow.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:
Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. Wash your hands before preparing the food. Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. If you are going to cook on a grill, follow these steps:
Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
Never grill indoors — not in your house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
Keep the grill out in the open and away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.
Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors as they absorb the sun’s rays.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Slow down, stay indoors. 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.
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 affected by the heat.
Be “Water smart.”Children and adults should learn to swim so, at a minimum, they achieve the skills of water competency: be able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, find an exit, swim a distance and then get out of the water safely.
Prevent unsupervised access to water. A person who is drowning has a better chance of survival if these steps are followed:
Recognize the signs of someone trouble and shout for help;
Rescue and remove the person from water without putting yourself in danger;
Begin rescue breathing and CPR; and
Use an AED, if available, and transfer care to advanced life support.
Here are a few more steps people can take as we approach the holiday:
Download the free Red Cross First Aid App for instant access to information on how to treat bleeding, burns, insect bites, and stings, and more.
Give blood. The number of people donating blood often drops during the summer when people are on vacation and schools are closed. Visit www.redcrossblood.org or download the Red Cross Blood App for more information or to schedule your donation.
At last week’s American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter Board of Directors Meeting, Brenda Isaula-Cordon was honored for her 25th anniversary.
Brenda began her career with the American Red Cross in May 1994 as an assistant in the Human Resources Department. She has also worked as an Accounts Receivable Specialist in the Finance Department and as a Chapter Management Assistant, working for Harold Brooks.
She took training in disaster casework where her Spanish language skills have been invaluable with local fire responses. Also, she deployed on several two-week Disaster assignments, including:
October 1991 – Caseworker for wildfires in Redding, CA
September 2001 – Spanish interpreter in New York for
the 9/11 hotline after the World Trade Center attacks
October 2004 – Caseworker for Hurricane Ivan in Florida
Nowadays, Brenda supports the San
Francisco office, ensuring the office runs smoothly and that both external and
internal customers are received with a warm welcome.
Congratulations, Brenda, on achieving this anniversary with us! We know you have worked hard for this accomplishment and you have been such a significant part of our team. We truly appreciate your dedication. We couldn’t imagine our workplace without you!