Volunteer Perspective – Red Cross Response to Shasta County Emergency

~Written by Caroline Nilsson, Volunteer for the American Red Cross of Northeastern California~

It was 6 PM on Friday night when my cell phone rang.  Pat Day’s voice was on the line. 

“You won’t believe it,” she said.  “You know that explosion that happened a couple of days ago?  Well, they’ve found explosives in the house.  They’re evacuating the area.  We need to open a shelter.”

I’d been expecting a call.  Amidst the driest winter in years, the rain had finally begun to fall on our Northeastern California town, and rain in Redding often means snow in the mountains.  I’d already gotten a heads-up that we might need to open a shelter in Siskiyou if the storms were bad.  We hadn’t been expecting explosives. Continue reading

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Hope Shines – a poem by 4th grader Drisana Bhatia


By Drisana Bhatia, 4th Grade Student
Theodore Judah Elementary School
Folsom, CA

In October 2013, I visited American Red Cross to learn about the support that the volunteers provide during natural disasters.  During that field trip, I came to know how the volunteers work day in and day out to extend their help to the people in need.

There were some pictures from Haiti, after it suffered from the earthquake. One of the pictures was just a door standing with fallen walls all around it. It moved me a lot and I felt really sorry for the families that lost homes.  I realized the value of the help that Red Cross volunteers provided to those families and many more.

This poem (free verse) is my reflection of that feeling. I want to dedicate my poem to the volunteers of American Red Cross and similar organizations.

Hope Shines

The ground shook,
The ground shivered;
The shaking destroyed homes and lives.
People were stunned, injured, sobbing in pain,
Looking for loved ones.
Others rushed to help,
To comfort the injured souls.

A little girl was alone
In the middle of a damaged porch
Frightened, shocked, hungry…
Trying to find her mother.
She heard a footstep; a man coming towards her.
He gave the frightened girl some food and
A hug…
A sign of love and understanding.
Teardrops rolled down her tiny cheeks
She felt happy to be with someone.

Even in the darkest of times
A little light shines from somewhere –
The light of humanity and kindness.
In that light we dream of a better world.
A world inspired by those,
Who believe in love and care.
A world where hope shines.

Drisana Bhatia
4th Grade, Theodore Judah Elementary School
November 2013

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Learn to Save a Life During Red Cross Month

CPRThere is never a bad time to learn how to save a life. Red Cross classes are available throughout the Capital Region on a daily basis, teaching critical skills that help to prepare you for disaster and know how to respond in the face of emergencies.

HandsOnlyCPRHowever, the month of March offers a few additional opportunities to make a difference. March is Red Cross Month, and throughout the month, the American Red Cross Capital Region will offer free Hands-Only CPR training sessions and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) demonstrations as part of Save-a-Life Saturdays! Continue reading

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Red Cross Issues Safety Tips to Prevent Holiday Home Fires


The American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions with cooking and decorating around the holidays.

“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and as people are cooking, entertaining, and stringing lights this holiday season, we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure that their homes and loved ones are safe from the threat of fire,” said Kathleen Weis, Chief Executive Officer for the Red Cross Capital Region. Continue reading

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Cook Safe this Holiday Season


And we’re off! Holiday season is upon us and it’s time once again for family, football, good cheer, yada yada yada. What we’re REALLY excited about is all the FOOD! We’ve been thinking about it since last year. Turkey, stuffing, pies, something clever you found on Pinterest….NOW IS THE TIME!!

turkeyfireBut before you spark up that flame thrower to try out the latest cooking technique, take a few minutes to understand the risks and take appropriate safety precautions. While singeing off your eyebrows may be a funny story down the road, that’s probably not how you and your family want to remember this time together. Continue reading

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Red Cross to Honor Local Heroes of Sacramento and Yolo Counties

heroesThe American Red Cross Capital Region is honoring community members who have performed extraordinary acts of courage. These Heroes from Sacramento and Yolo Counties will be recognized at the 13th Annual Heroes Luncheon to be held on Friday, December 13th at UC Davis Freeborn Hall in Davis, beginning at 11:00am.

As a community leader in emergency preparedness, prevention and response, the Red Cross Capital Region Chapter is proud to honor the following Heroes of Sacramento and Yolo Counties, who have taken action in a time of crisis to help others and show extraordinary human compassion:

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A Message of Gratitude on the Anniversary of Sandy

The following message is from Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross:

It is an honor to thank you for all you have done since Superstorm Sandy hit nearly a year ago, leading to the largest Red Cross U.S. relief operation in more than five years. This storm struck an area that is not frequently targeted by tropical systems, wreaking havoc across an enormous area and catching many people off guard.

A Message of Gratitude on the Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy

As you know, this was no ordinary disaster. The storm damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, flooded large, heavily populated areas in New Jersey and New York, and knocked out power to millions. Just days after the hurricane hit, a nor’easter brought snow and freezing temperatures to the same area, making an already bad situation worse. Continue reading

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