Tag Archives: Preparedness

Follow these Red Cross Steps for a Safe 4th of July Holiday

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.

FIREWORKS

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.

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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.”

BARBECUE SAFETY

grillingKeep 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.

HEAT SAFETY

heat-strokeNever 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.

 WATER SAFETY

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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;
  • Call 9-1-1;
  • 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:

  • Go to www.redcross.org/watersafety for water safety courses, tips, and resources.
  • 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.

Regional teams continue ‘Sound the Alarm’ activities in May

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A “Sound the Alarm” event in San Jose in May resulted in 812 smoke alarms being installed in 229 homes! One of the many well-organized teams that day — comprised of Red Cross and San Jose Fire personnel — get ready for their assigned installations. (Photo by: James Cagle)
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On average, home fires kill 7 people and injure another 36 — every single day in the United States. That’s why the American Red Cross launched its nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014 with the goal of reducing the number of home fire deaths and injuries.

A key component of the campaign is a series of Sound the Alarm – Save a Life smoke alarm installation events in which Red Cross volunteers, working with local fire departments and other partners, visit high-risk neighborhoods to offer to install free 10-year smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help families create escape plans. It is believed that the Sound the Alarm neighborhood visits, in which more than 1.5 million alarms have been installed, have already saved more than 550 lives throughout the United States since the Home Fire Campaign began.

During the month of May, teams throughout the American Red Cross’s Northern California Coastal Region were especially busy organizing and holding a large number of Sound the Alarm events.

These installations included the “Signature Events” that were part of an extra Sound the Alarm (STA) push that American Red Cross volunteers and our partners were making nationally from April 27 through May 12 this spring. The goal of this national effort was to install 100,000 smoke alarms during that three-weekend period.

Here’s a rundown of the STA activities in each of our region’s four chapter areas during the month of May:

California Northwest Chapter

  • On May 11, teams installed 146 smoke alarms in 60 homes in Rohnert Park.

Bay Area Chapter

  • On May 1, teams installed 191 smoke alarms in 53 homes in Antioch (see photos).
  • On May 3, teams installed 42 smoke alarms in 20 homes in Marin County (see photos).
  • On May 5, teams installed 24 smoke alarms in 13 homes in San Mateo.
  • On May 11, teams installed 201 smoke alarms in 81 homes in Vallejo (see photos).
  • On May 11, teams installed 243 smoke alarms in 115 homes in San Mateo (see photos).
  • On May 11, teams installed 123 smoke alarms in 30 homes in Oakland (see photos).
  • On May 11, teams installed 66 smoke alarms in 18 homes in San Francisco (see photos).
  • On various dates in May, teams installed 56 smoke alarms in 19 homes at various locations in Alameda County (see photos of May 4 installation in Richmond).

Central Coast Chapter

  • On May 19, teams installed 60 alarms in 22 homes in Santa Cruz.

Silicon Valley Chapter

  • On May 4, teams installed 812 smoke alarms in 229 homes in San Jose (see photos).

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RELATED INFORMATION:

•  Supporting our ‘Sound the Alarm’ home visits: This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from our national partners: Airbnb, Delta, and Nissan; and our regional partners: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer, Dignity Health, Linden Root Dickinson Foundation, Camille McCormack, State Farm, John and Marcia Goldman Foundation, Karen Turner Sanford, and Veritas.

•  Thanks also to our amazing volunteers and partners, who are making our region’s contributions to this national Red Cross campaign so successful!

•  Related stories:

•  Support our region’s STA efforts: You can still participate in and support our Home Fire Campaign efforts by going to this web page.

Helping people is a team sport

Photo of attendees at the boot camp

The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter office in San Jose was the site of a well-attended training “boot camp” on January 20 that introduced local members of Rotary International and other attendees to the many volunteer opportunities available through the American Red Cross. (Photo: Sasha Boyko)

For more photos of the day-long event, please go to this Flickr album.

Two of the world’s leading service organizations — the American Red Cross and Rotary International — joined forces on Sunday, January 20, for an all-day “Red Cross Training Boot Camp.” The session, held at the Silicon Valley Chapter in San Jose, was designed to provide Rotarians and other attendees with “Shelter Fundamentals” training and to expose them to the many Red Cross volunteer opportunities. Read more

CalNW ED praises community in KSRO interview

CalNW Chapter Executive Director Jeff Baumgartner spoke with KSRO’s Pat Kerrigan to discuss the California Wildfires Six-Month Update from the Red Cross. Baumgartner recalled the Red Cross response and confirmed that recovery would likely take one to three years. Baumgartner described the vast number of community partners involved in the recovery effort and stated it would be an opportunity to build back community systems and infrastructure with more insight into future needs. He also recognized the deep generosity of the broader community in their combined response efforts saying that the level of community response was “extremely impressive.”

Click here to listen to the full interview on KSRO.

Click here to access the California Wildfires Six-Month Update.