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News of interest to ARCRA members

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  • 08/13/2022 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    Tips from Red Cross:

    It’s almost time for students to return to the classroom and the American Red Cross has steps everyone can take to help your grandkids remain safe as they head back to school.

    CELL PHONES A DISTRACTION The National Safety Council (NSC) reports distracted walking can be dangerous, even deadly. Teach your students the following:

    • Don’t text or talk on your phone while walking. If you must text, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.
    • Never cross the street while using an electronic device.
    • Do not walk with headphones in your ears.
    • Drivers can be distracted too. Never use a phone while driving. Help keep children safe by eliminating all distractions.

      TAKING THE BUS
    • Students should get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Young children should be supervised.
    • Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant instructs them to get on. They should only board their bus, never an alternate one.
    • All students should stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
       

    WALKING TO SCHOOL

    • Cross the street at the corner, obeying traffic signals and staying in the crosswalk.
    • Never run out into the street or cross between parked cars.
    • Use a route along which the school has placed crossing guards.
    • Parents, walk with young children and those taking new routes or attending new schools, for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.
       

    GOING BY CAR

    • Everyone should always wear a seat belt.
    • Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”), and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
    • If a teenager is going to drive to school, parents should mandate that they use seat belts.
       

    RIDING A BIKE There may be more young people on bikes as the school bells ring. They should:

    • Wear a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing.
    • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, in a single file.
    • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street; walk bikes across the street.
    • Stay alert and avoid distracted riding.
       

    SLOW DOWN Drivers should slow down, especially in residential areas and school zones, and know what the yellow and red bus signals mean. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is getting ready to stop, that motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off.

    Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety. This includes two and four-lane highways. If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.

    KEEP LITTLE ONES SAFE Keeping all students safe is the primary concern for everyone, but there are special steps for parents of younger kids and those going to school for the first time:

    • Make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to call 911.
    • Teach children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.
       

    PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES Know what the emergency plan is at your child’s school and develop a family emergency plan so everyone will know who to contact and where to go if something happens during the school day. Details are available at redcross.org/prepare.

    Download the free Red Cross First Aid app for instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. You can find it by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Learn and practice First Aid and CPR/AED skills by taking a course (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you can help save a life.

    Read more at Red Cross.org

  • 08/13/2022 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    Two weeks after tragic flooding upturned lives and destroyed hundreds of homes across Eastern Kentucky, the American Red Cross is still there, working around the clock with our partners to provide comfort and critical support to help those in need.

    This is an incredibly challenging situation, and we are working closely with local officials to make sure people have the help they need as they begin the long road to recovery. Some areas remain cut off due to damaged roads and bridges and Red Cross disaster workers are bringing food and relief supplies to people by boat. Preliminary damage reports indicate that nearly 1,400 homes were either destroyed or suffered major damage.

    RED CROSS RESPONSE Today, some 400 trained Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in Kentucky helping to provide a safe place to stay, food to eat, critical relief supplies and emotional support for those affected by this tragedy. Volunteers are also replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses or critical medical equipment, like canes and wheelchairs, which were left behind in the rush to get to safety.

    Wednesday night, the Red Cross and our partners provided comfort and care for more than 430 residents in 13 shelters across Eastern Kentucky. Since the flooding hit the region, the Red Cross and our partners have provided a total of nearly 6,000 overnight stays for residents forced to leave their homes. More than a dozen Red Cross emergency response vehicles are circulating through the hardest hit communities with volunteers providing meals and cleanup supplies.

    With the support of local partners, the Red Cross has helped to provide some 81,000 meals and snacks to people in need. In addition, we’ve given out thousands of critical relief items to over 1,400 households.

    Red Cross care teams are meeting with families who have lost loved ones to offer specialized support including disaster mental health services and other information.

    See photos and read more at Red Cross.org

  • 08/01/2022 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    OPERATION BABYLIFT AND THE LAST FLIGHT OUT OF VIETNAM
    ZOOM event MONDAY, AUGUST 8 AT 7PM ET

    Sponsored by the Veteran's Breakfast Club 

    Many Red Crossers were involved in Operation Baby lift bringing thousands of infants out of Vietnam.  The Veteran's Breakfast Club continues the conversation with former Pan Am employees in Vietnam. Pan Am spearheaded Operation baby lift that brought thousands of infants our of Saigon in April 1975. We also talk with those who worked to bring over 100,000 other refugees to safety before Saigon fell. 

    The mission of the Veterans Breakfast Club is to create communities of listening around veterans and their stories to ensure that this living history will never be forgotten. We believe that through our work, people will be connected, educated, healed, and inspired.

    Click here to join the Zoom event

  • 06/29/2022 6:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Within the past few days, 6500 ARC retirees have received letters describing the purchase of a group annuity contract from Athene Annuity and Life Company to pay their pension benefit beginning June 30, 2022. The American Red Cross Retiree Association has been briefed on these changes and is prepared to help our members and other retirees understand them.

    Read the Athene Q&A here   

  • 06/01/2022 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts today and runs until November 30. This will be another very active one, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The American Red Cross urges everyone who lives in hurricane prone areas to make their preparations now and is issuing a call for more people to volunteer to respond to these emergencies.

    For the seventh consecutive year, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting above-average Atlantic hurricane activity, continuing the trend of more frequent and intense climate-driven disasters. The forecast calls for 14 to 21 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.

    The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. However, 2021 was the seventh consecutive year that a storm formed before the designated start of the season, so it’s vital for people who could be affected by these storms get ready now. You can find more hurricane safety information here.

    Download the free Red Cross Emergency app to have severe weather safety information right at your fingertips. The Emergency app provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe during severe weather and countless other emergencies. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.


  • 06/01/2022 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    RED CROSS GETTING READY As hurricane season begins, the Red Cross is also getting prepared to make sure help is available to anyone left in need by a disaster. These efforts include updating response plans in coordination with local partners, refreshing our stock of relief supplies including cots, blankets and cleaning supplies, and recruiting and training new volunteers.

    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED The relentless pace of severe disasters has created additional and ongoing emergency needs, especially for families who have been displaced year after year by extreme weather events. As the growing number of climate disasters threatens lives on a near-constant basis, the Red Cross is growing our volunteer capacity to respond to these emergencies.

    The need to help during disasters has never been greater — join us to provide relief and hope when it matters most. Visit redcross.org to sign up now. These are our most-needed disaster volunteer positions:

    • SHELTER SUPPORT: Help at a shelter during a large disaster by welcoming and registering residents, serving meals, setting up cots, distributing blankets and personal hygiene kits, and providing information and other assistance to people in need.
    • HEALTH SERVICES: Use your professional skills as a licensed health care provider to deliver hands-on support, including care and education to people staying at a shelter during a large disaster. Qualified licenses include RN, LPN, LVN, EMT, Paramedic, MD, DO, PA, NP and APRN.
    • DISASTER ACTION TEAM: While big hurricanes get the most news coverage, smaller disasters such as home fires are no less devastating to those affected. Join your local Disaster Action Team to help families in need by providing food, lodging, comfort, recovery assistance and other support.
    • Visit redcross.org to sign up now


  • 06/01/2022 9:43 AM | Anonymous

    The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the entire American Red Cross family, including retirees,  are with the Uvalde community and all those affected by this heartbreaking tragedy. The American Red Cross is coordinating with emergency officials to provide comfort and support now.

    The Red Cross continues to work alongside other community organizations on the ground in Texas as well as national partners to ensure that immediate needs are being met, to include providing support for a family assistance center and several memorial sites. More than 30 trained Red Cross volunteers are onsite providing mental health, health services and spiritual care support to families who have suffered unimaginable loss and to those in the community who have also experienced emotional trauma.

    Red Cross services to the community will continue in the coming days as the work transitions from the family assistance center to more long-term resilience support.

     Right now, the Red Cross has what it needs to respond to this tragedy and is  not accepting financial or other donations designated specifically for this event. Also, Red Cross cannot accept donations of stuffed animals, clothing, blankets or other items; please contact a local organization — such as a faith-based group, children’s hospital or women’s shelter — to see if they are able to accept such donations.

    While Red Cross does not typically serve hospitals in this area of Texas, the Red Cross stands ready to provide blood and blood products as needed in response to this tragedy. Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. This tragedy illustrates that it is the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency.

    Read more here

  • 05/16/2022 12:12 PM | Anonymous

    In May, the American Red Cross  will team up with community partners to install 50,000 free smoke alarms in more than 50 at-risk communities, as part of its annual Sound the Alarm initiative.

    Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, with more than 86,000 people relying on the Red Cross for support to recover from more than 23,000 home fires so far this year. These disasters also claim seven lives every day in the U.S. — many in homes without working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of death by half.

    “Every second counts during a home fire, when you may have as little as two minutes to escape,” said Jennifer Pipa, vice president of Disaster Programs for the American Red Cross. “That’s why Red Cross volunteers and community partners are joining together this May to Sound the Alarm by installing free smoke alarms and sharing home fire safety information with families in at-risk communities.”

    Visit SoundTheAlarm.org to get involved by volunteering at an event near you, making a financial donation or learning how to protect you and your family from home fires.

    ‘IF WE ALL COME TOGETHER, WE CAN ALL HELP’ Rob Griggs and his sister Tricia Costanzo lost their parents and brother a few years ago to a fire in their family’s Ohio home, where there weren’t working smoke alarms. After the tragedy, they began volunteering with Sound the Alarm to help other families stay safe.

    Watch Griggs and Costanzo share their story and why Sound the Alarm is important to their community: https://vimeo.com/694955915

    1,275 LIVES SAVED AND COUNTING Sound the Alarm events are a critical part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save at least 1,275 lives and install more than 2.3 million free smoke alarms across the country since launching in October 2014. Visit SoundTheAlarm.org for more information about this work with community partners.

    https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/latest-news.html


  • 05/08/2022 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is May 8 on the birthday of Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross Movement. In 1919, after World War I, Red Cross Truce Day honored "the spirit of Volunteers providing medical help to everyone without distinction".   The first Red Cross Day was celebrated on May 8, 1948.   And in 1984, the official title became World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

    The theme for 2022 is BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF KINDNESS.

    Below is a message from Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, IFRC...

    Dear colleagues,

    I’m writing to you upon my return from Kenya, where I was on mission to see first-hand the challenges faced by communities affected by drought, and how Red Cross volunteers are supporting them.

    Above all, this crisis is being driven by climate change. Communities here are suffering their fourth season without rain. The areas affected were previously hit by serious flooding and a locust infestation, both of which damaged agricultural land. When COVID-19 arrived in the country, it affected countless livelihoods and reduced the remittances that used to flow from urban to rural areas.

    This is just one complex crisis among many in today’s unsettled and hazardous world. But while disasters, conflict and hardship have always been with us, so too have kindness and hope.

    Thursday, 5 May, was the anniversary of the founding of our IFRC. I wrote some reflections on our history and some of the challenges we are facing today - such as the conflict in Ukraine; the COVID-19 pandemic; and the impacts of climate change. I also recorded a message while in our Regional Office for Africa.

    With challenges like these, I wondered, can a simple idea – like Henry Davison’s 1919 decision to bring National Societies together as a force for good - still help to heal the world?

    I believe it can – and will. Because there are nearly 15 million reasons to have hope: our 14.9 million dedicated Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers giving freely of their time, their skills, and their kindness.

    Together, in 2020, we were able to reach more than 688 million people with disaster and other emergency response services; some 306 million with health activities, and 125 million with clean water and sanitation assistance.

    These volunteers, and 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, were supported by every single one of you – the staff of the global Secretariat. I am so proud of your hard work and the dedication you show every day.

    On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, 8th May, we will celebrate our volunteers and staff, and every individual act of kindness that brings comfort to people across the world.

    In the Secretariat, we should also take time to thank each other, recommit to supporting one another, and to living the theme of this year’s celebration: believe in the power of kindness, and #BeHumanKIND.

    Best wishes,

    Jagan

    Jagan Chapagain
    Secretary General, CEO

    Read more from the ICRC
    Watch video message from Jagan Chapagain
    Watch video message from World Red Cross Red Crescent Day from Mrs. Mercedes Babe, Chair of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, Mr. Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC, and Me Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC

    Special thanks to  Michael Stone, President IFRC Alumni
    https://www.ifrc.org/alumni-association

  • 05/04/2022 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    Events in more than 50 at-risk communities will help protect families against home fires

    This May, the American Red Cross is teaming up with community partners to install 50,000 free smoke alarms in more than 50 at-risk communities, as part of its annual Sound the Alarm initiative.

    Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, with more than 86,000 people relying on the Red Cross for support to recover from more than 23,000 home fires so far this year. These disasters also claim seven lives every day in the U.S. — many in homes without working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of death by half.

    “Every second counts during a home fire, when you may have as little as two minutes to escape,” said Jennifer Pipa, vice president of Disaster Programs for the American Red Cross. “That’s why Red Cross volunteers and community partners are joining together this May to Sound the Alarm by installing free smoke alarms and sharing home fire safety information with families in at-risk communities.”

    Visit SoundTheAlarm.org to get involved by volunteering at an event near you, making a financial donation or learning how to protect you and your family from home fires.

    ‘IF WE ALL COME TOGETHER, WE CAN ALL HELP’ Rob Griggs and his sister Tricia Costanzo lost their parents and brother a few years ago to a fire in their family’s Ohio home, where there weren’t working smoke alarms. After the tragedy, they began volunteering with Sound the Alarm to help other families stay safe.

    “If we all come together, we can all help,” Griggs said.

    Watch Griggs and Costanzo share their story and why Sound the Alarm is important to their community: https://vimeo.com/694955915

    1,275 LIVES SAVED AND COUNTING Sound the Alarm events are a critical part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save at least 1,275 lives and install more than 2.3 million free smoke alarms across the country since launching in October 2014. Visit SoundTheAlarm.org for more information about this work with community partners.


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