American Samoa: Much Needed Supplies Arrive Saturday Evening

October 19, 2009

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10.17.09 More Supplies Arrive In American Samoa

The American Red Cross took delivery of 122 pallets of supplies for residents of American Samoa, who are still working to recover from the Sept. 29 tsunami that killed a reported 34 people and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes.

The supplies that arrived Saturday evening included diapers, baby formula, towels, brooms and feminine hygiene products—all of which are in short supply on the island. The delivery included bolts of fabric that could be cut into lava-lava—the traditional skirt-like garment that is worn by men and women on American Samoa.

More than 300 workers from the American Red Cross, representing chapters on American Samoa, Hawaii and across the U.S. mainland, are at work on American Samoa to provide assistance to those affected by the tsunami. The workers will distribute the new supplies to villages across American Samoa, along with tuna, rice, noodles and water.

“People here have temporary housing and cots and cooking utensils, so we’re providing food supplies that will allow them to cook at home,” said Red Cross worker Bob Howard.

Donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund enable the Red Cross to purchase needed supplies at the best price possible and deliver them as efficiently as possible to those affected by all disasters.


Pacific Islands Tsunami: Eyewitness Report

October 14, 2009

 Spiritual Care Volunteer

Tim Serban offers a hug and emotional support to tsunami victim Taitasi Fitao. Serban is the volunteer spiritual care adviser among the 88 American Red Cross workers who flew to American Samoa to help with recovery from the tsunami. While his fellow Red Cross workers assist with residents’ physical recovery from the tsunami, Serban and his partners in Red Cross mental health are addressing the psychological and spiritual needs of the residents. Their work as part of Red Cross Disaster Services is supported by donations to the Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.

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Press Release: Utah Chapters Helping With Disaster Relief

October 1, 2009

The American Red Cross in Utah is helping with disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami affecting American Samoa

 Salt Lake City, Utah (Wednesday, September 30, 2009) — Local chapters of the American Red Cross in Utah are working at this hour to deploy disaster trained Red Cross volunteers to American Samoa. There are several crucial volunteer positions needed to help with sheltering and feeding of the people affected by the tsunami there. Twelve Red Cross disaster volunteers from Utah are confirmed to go at this hour, with more pending. All local chapters are reporting many calls coming in from Utahns who are concerned about loved ones affected by the earthquake and tsunami and who want to help by making donations to the disaster relief efforts.

 


Press Release: Red Cross On the Ground in American Samoa

September 30, 2009

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Red Cross Helping American Samoa Tsunami Victims

WASHINGTON DC, September 30, 2009 — The American Red Cross is on the ground in American Samoa where a tsunami swept across the island after a powerful earthquake hit the South Pacific.

After yesterday’s 8.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, a significant portion of American Samoa is without power or water. Damage is widespread. Red Cross has dozens of volunteers already providing food and supplies to those on the island. A team of 50 volunteers is being sent in to supplement the efforts of the local Red Cross team. The Red Cross has a warehouse on American Samoa supplied with cots, flashlights, and cooking and clean-up supplies, and will be sending in additional supplies as quickly as possible.

“We will get there as quickly as we can with what we can,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services. “Our first priority is to provide food, water and needed supplies.”

Getting information out of the island is very slow at this time. The Red Cross urges those who have been able to contact loved ones on American Samoa register them with Safe and Well. This is the best way to share information about their status. People can register information about loved ones on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website at http://www.redcross.org. If they do not have internet access, they can call 1-800-REDCROSS to register their loved ones. The information will let other loved ones know about the well-being of those on the island. Please note – Safe and Well works only on American Samoa. The service will not work on Samoa.

The Red Cross pre-positions supplies and disaster equipment to be able to rush relief services into affected areas when disaster strikes. Since 1997, members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) have pledged donations in advance of major disasters to ensure the Red Cross has the ability to respond immediately when needed. This year, members have provided more than $20 million in funding for the Disaster Relief Fund.

ADGP members include Altria Group, Inc., American Express, AXA Foundation, ConAgra Foods, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Raytheon, Ryder Charitable Foundation, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare, and UPS.

“Thanks to the generosity of our Annual Disaster Giving Program members, we are able to mobilize human and material resources at a moments notice to provide lifesaving services,” said Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “These funds, coupled with the support of the American public, are critical during disasters and enable the Red Cross to rush immediate relief to disaster victims before the first donation has been given.”

American Samoa, a group of seven islands about 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii, is a United States Territory. American Samoa and the independent country of Samoa make up the Samoan group of islands in the center of Polynesia. According to news reports, four tsunami waves about 15 to 20 feet high came ashore on American Samoa after the earthquake in the South Pacific.

Your financial support will help the Red Cross respond to disasters like this situation in the Samoan islands. You can make a donation by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or (Spanish 1-800-257-7575), or visiting redcross.org, and choosing whether to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund or American Red Cross International Response Fund.

Help people affected by disasters like the recent earthquake and floods by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.


Press Release: Lending A Hand To Flood Victims

September 24, 2009

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Red Cross lending a hand to flood victims unable to go home

 WASHINGTON, September 24, 2009 – The American Red Cross sheltered more than 420 people in Georgia and Tennessee overnight, a signal that even though flood waters are slowly receding, many are still unable to return to their homes.

The Red Cross has more than 200 volunteers and staff and 18 Emergency Response Vehicles(ERVs) in the area with more on standby. Clean up and comfort kits are being distributed and almost 2,000 meals have been served to those affected by the flooding. Officials say early estimates show as many as 3,000 homes may be affected with damages estimated at $250 million.

Red Cross is partnering with Southern Baptist Convention which has one mobile kitchen in operation and another on alert if needed. Other partners include Samaritan’s Purse, Georgia Association of Food Banks, Church of Latter Day Saints, Church World Service, and NECHAMA.

“Our focus is on making people as comfortable as possible, feeding them and taking care of their immediate needs,” said Joe Becker, Red Cross Disaster Services senior vice president, “we have the workers, equipment and supplies here on the ground to do that with more on standby if needed.”

As the waters recede, the Red Cross issues these steps people should take to remain safe as they return to their neighborhoods:

• Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.s
• Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
• Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
• Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
• If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
• If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
• Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
• Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
• During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
• Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
• Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
• Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.

Help people affected by disasters like the current floods by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.


Press Release: Wildfire Safety Tips

August 31, 2009

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Red Cross Shelters Wildfire Evacuees
Safety tips also offered as fires threaten

WASHINGTON, August 31, 2009 – The American Red Cross is on the scene offering evacuees a safe place to stay as wildfires in California force people from their homes and scorch thousands of acres. Overnight, nearly 200 people took refuge from the smoke and fire in Red Cross shelters.

“If you are ordered to leave your home, please do it immediately,” said Joe Becker, Red Cross senior vice president for disaster services, “These wildfires can be very dangerous. You will find a safe place to stay, a warm meal, and a shoulder to lean on at your community’s shelters.”

Those affected by the fires can register on the Red Cross Safe and Well web site, an easy way to notify loved ones of their well-being. People can either place the call themselves, or have someone do it for them. Registration can be done by visiting www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Friends and family can then search for their message by using their phone number or address.

Red Cross offers the following safety tips to keep those in the vicinity of the fires prepared and safe:

• If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Follow the instructions of local officials.
• Back the car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape. Shut the vehicle doors and windows and leave the keys in the ignition. Close the garage windows and doors, but leave them unlocked. Disconnect automatic garage door openers.
• Confine pets to one room and make plans to care for them in case of an evacuation order. Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
• If evacuating, wear sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and a handkerchief to protect your face.
• Take a Disaster Supplies Kit with you.
• Lock the house when leaving.
• Tell someone your time of departure and destination.
• Choose a route away from the fires and watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
• Take prescription and emergency medication, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items with you. Don’t forget special items for children and infants such as diapers, formula, and toys. Remember special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

If there is enough time:

• Close windows, vents, doors, blinds and heavy drapes. Remove lightweight curtains.
• Shut off gas at the meter and turn off pilot lights.
• Open the fireplace damper and close fireplace screens.
• Move flammable furniture into the center of the home, away from windows and sliding-glass doors.
• Turn a light on in each room to make the home more visible in heavy smoke.
• Seal attic and ground vents outside the home.
• Turn off propane tanks.
• Place combustible patio furniture inside.
• Connect the garden hose to outside spigots.
• Wet or remove shrubs within 15 feet of the home.

Help people affected by disasters like the current wildfires, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.


Murfreesboro, TN Tornado: Press Release 4.14.09

April 14, 2009

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Murfreesboro, TN Tornado

Red Cross Transitions Shelter into Feeding Site and Respite Center
Meals, Snacks, Clean-up Kits, Comfort Kits, Minor First Aid, Grief Counseling Continue

[Murfreesboro, Tenn., April 14, 2009] – As the Red Cross continues providing food, water, snacks, comfort kits, clean up kits, minor first aid and grief counseling to victims of the Good Friday tornadoes, the Red Cross shelter at the New Vision Baptist Church, located at 1750 North Thompson Lane, is transitioning into a fixed feeding site and respite center, after having a shelter population of zero both Sunday and Monday nights.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is continuing to focus its efforts on outreach today, taking Emergency Response Vehicles with comfort kits, clean up kits, meals, snacks, bottled water and trained mental health professionals into the communities affected, serving both tornado victims as well as other emergency workers and volunteers in the area.

Since the tornado relief operation began, your American Red Cross has:

-Activated 255 Local Volunteers
-Distributed more than 12,000 meals and snacks
-Provided grief counseling and first aid to more than 500 victims

With continuing inquiries from friends and family members from outside of the Murfreesboro area worried about those affected, the Red Cross is urging everyone who was affected by these storms to visit www.safeandwell.org and register themselves as being safe and well. Then, family members and friends can visit the same site and see that their family members are okay. If victims cannot access the Internet, they can call 1-800-REDCROSS and have a Red Cross volunteer register their name on the safe and well website.

HOW TO HELP
You can help people affected by this disaster, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disasters, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of all disasters. You can visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or mail your donation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

**You can also donate by simply texting the word GIVE from your cell phone to the number 24357 and donate $5 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.**

You can also donate to help the victims of the Murfreesboro tornadoes at any Middle Tennessee Kroger store at the register as you check out. Just tell the cashier you would like to make a donation to the Red Cross for the Central Tennessee tornadoes.

The Red Cross is NOT accepting any donations of clothing, furniture or any other material items. If you would like to volunteer, the CITY OF MURFREESBORO is asking you to call (615) 890-1934.


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